Monday, April 10, 2006

Watching Daily Changes

This picture was taken on a cold and cloudy day not too long after Roundtop closed for the season. Today that same scene looks less cold, if not yet flushed with spring growth.

Spring is arriving, with one or two small changes each day. One day it might be a new bird species or a higher temperature or the sound of bullfrogs in the pond. Yesterday I saw the first butterfly of the season—a cabbage white with a tiny black spot on each wing. Today, I’ve seen a crow and a mourning dove carrying nesting material in their beaks.

It is in spring and fall where changes on the mountain are the most noticeable to me. Spring and fall change relentlessly, while summer and winter feel static. In mid-winter or even mid-summer, the days seem so much the same, with only a few degrees or a difference in cloud cover to tell one from the other.

Sometimes the middle of summer or winter feels a little like being in the middle of a rainstorm. I can see the storm coming. I can see it moving out, but when I’m in the middle of it I can’t see much at all. The ending of the storm could be moments or hours away, but either way it’s impossible to guess.

Watching the seasons change is one way I can deny that summer is soon here (It can’t be summer yet, the lightning bugs aren’t out yet!) or anticipate that fall will soon be here (the shorebirds are moving already!)

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