Monday, March 18, 2013
DO YOU SEE SPRING A'COMIN'?
According to the almanac, spring is just a couple of days away. I'll have to take the experts' word for this. At the moment it's 36˚F and drizzling; damp and chilly. Possible snow flurries are in the forecast for this evening and Wednesday. And daytime temperatures through the rest of the week are not expected to rise above the mid-30s˚F.
Not exactly the seasonal debut I'd prefer…though not at all out of character for Ohio. Spring's arrival hereabouts often doesn't find a landscape appearing noticeably different than it did in mid-February. In fact, we had sunnier, warmer, drier days the latter half of this year's February than we've had throughout the first half of March. Which, I repeat, isn't really surprising.
Spring seldom pops in looking like spring. A friend of mine used to say spring must be taken on faith. A dedicated countryman, he lived in Ohio all his four-score-plus years, and knew well the fickleness of Buckeye weather.
He also said dependable spring weather wouldn't arrive until "the frogs have looked through ice twice." Meaning there'd be at least two occasions after spring's official onset where temperatures dropped enough that ice formed on shallow ponds.
And along those same lines, he cautioned to not expect spring to "hold" until I'd seen snow on the forsythia blooms.
For at least thirty years, I've watched all three of his homespun proverbs come true more often than not. We usually do have a couple of below-freezing nights early-on where at least a thin skim of ice covers frog-holding bogs and backwaters. Time after time I've witnessed bright yellow forsythia blooms white-capped with snow. And there are lots of years when spring's outward appearance belies it's seasonal beginning…and to truly believe such a fact requires an act of faith.
My forsythia bush is nowhere close to blooming this week, so any snow on its bright flowers will have to come later. But nighttime low temps for the foreseeable future are expected to be in the mid-20s˚F, well below freezing—so any frog foolish enough to stir from his muddy chamber and glance upward will doubtless be forced to view the cold world beyond through a pane of ice.
Meanwhile…I'm hanging tough and keeping the faith. Isn't that spring a'comin?