The morning light is finally making progress against last weekend’s time change. The sun is now solidly above the horizon when I leave the cabin, if still pretty low in the sky. This morning was the first since the change that I didn’t wake up the chickens when I went to feed them. Though still cloudy, I didn’t have fog, rain or an overcast sky to contend with this morning, so that helped.
At the cabin, I have no obvious signs of new plant growth yet, though my chickens might have found some. They scratch up the leaves with a lot of enthusiasm, and after one such ground-baring effort I found several, folded over, tiny little hairline lengths of green somethings. Since I’m not in the habit of boring through the leaves that cover the mountain to reach the dirt, I don’t know if these barely visible stems are “new” or if that’s how they spent the winter, barely sprouted but safe under a warm covering of last fall’s leaves.
Skeins of Canada geese are moving north over Roundtop right now. Just before last week’s rain I even saw one flock of low-flying Tundra swans. Sometimes the geese are so high that I can’t see them. It’s only their honks that give away their presence. Often, their flocks are huge, hundreds of birds. When I do see a flock, I try to count them before they disappear. A time or two the birds disappeared before I could finish my count. Most flocks are in the 2-300 range, with a couple around 350 and a couple more flocks larger than that, though they were gone before I could tell you exactly how many there were.
Despite my innate dislike of spring, this is a time I enjoy on the mountain. The crowds of winter skiers are gone, and the summer activities, never as hectic as those in winter, won’t begin for a while. So the lights are off and the mountain is quiet. Those few of us who live here have the entire place pretty much all to ourselves. And that’s a nice respite, if ever there was one.