Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring is short around here, and comes reluctantly. One day the temperature will be below zero and the next day it’ll read 40 above. The country road I live on, and my driveway, will turn wet, muddy and rutted – then freeze rock hard, but the ruts stay. The snow starts melting, patches of brown grass start showing in the yard and everyone is smiling ‘cause spring is in the air. Snow shovels are stowed, outdoor furniture is brought out, windows and doors left open and we step outside in light jackets or no jackets at all. People drive around with the car window rolled down. And just when we think we’ve got the winter licked, we wake up the next morning to a white landscape and deck chairs knocked over by wind driven snow. Parkas are donned again and the catch phrase of the day is a submissive “I’m sick of this.”

Spring does take over, however eventually, and when it does we find ourselves with so much to do that the immediacy of it grabs us in near panic. There are only so many perfect spring days yet there’re so many ways to fill them, and fill ‘em we must, because before we know it those pussy willows will have burst out along with the leaves and with that all comes the heat and bugs. Yeah, spring is short.

Yesterday would have been a beautiful day for dog work, sunny and just above freezing, but I had a pile of wood to split and I knew if I didn’t get it finished I’d be kicking myself next January. I suppose spending a morning with a splitting maul is not a bad thing to do and it’s pretty satisfying when it’s done, but when Molly flushed a grouse behind me while I was swinging the maul it was sure tempting to postpone the chore and hit the woods. I stuck with the task, however, with no regrets because last night the snow and freezing rain came and coated everything with a couple of inches of snow and slush. Cars were sliding off the road and snowplows were out again.

I’m thinking about fishing now and with a couple of exciting trips coming up I’m eager to limber up the rods. The lakes and streams are still frozen close to home, but there’s fishing to be had down on the rivers that feed Lake Superior, so things are looking up.  With a bit of luck there will be a steelhead or two in my near future.

The sun is setting and I’m looking out at the snow in the woods surrounding my yard, but in my head I’m hearing the zing of line in the air, the dip of oars in the water, and feeling the tug on the rod. I’m daydreaming of warm days floating bass and musky rivers and wading clear trout streams. Word is there are likely some salmon in the future. I’ll keep you posted – I can hardly wait!

29 March 2015