Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The state of the spring
The grass has turned from a greenish brown to a brownish green and now finally fully to green. The geese are incubating clutches of large, white eggs on ponds all around the mountain, each pair to its own pond, with assorted honking battles for prime territory still sounding off most evenings.
The American beech trees have miniature leaves at their edges. The old oaks are nearly as bare as during midwinter. Nothing hurries them. They will leaf out when they are good and ready.
Blooms of rue anemone dots the forest floor, and the mayapples will soon flower. Swallows have returned to ply the ponds for insects. The dawn chorus of singing birds grows louder by the day. Spring is well and truly here and well settled in, as well. This is to be expected as we are already a month into the astronomical season, a full month past the vernal equinox.
Here, April will likely end up being warmer than normal, due mostly to three days that were profoundly warmer—by 20 degrees!—than is typical. The rest of the month has fared in the normal range, even cooler than is typical, but those three warm days simply overpowered the rest of the month. As you can see, the sky is overcast in the photo taken this morning. I’ve had some clear days, but overcast has been more the norm than the exception. Though I am more than 100 miles from the ocean, today’s overcast is the result of an east wind, bringing in a marine layer of clouds.
And there’s been rain during the month but not enough to make up a 2 in. deficit. I think of a typical April as one with many April showers. I remember some Aprils as a constant drizzle. That has not been the case this year, though I’m not sure I like the overcast skies much better.
Last year May was the month of showers, not April. As rain has not much materialized this month, I am rather hoping that they will come in May. It’s not that I like a usually pleasant month like May to be clouded by rain, but if we don’t get a hefty amount of it in May, it’s likely to be a long, hot and dry summer. And I’d like that even less than rain in May.