We had a record-setting winter here in northeastern Michigan – more than 40 inches of snow in January alone. (Outpacing the blizzard of ’78.) March was a bitter disappointment, setting plenty of records of its own for unseasonably low temperatures. Perhaps that is why I have been desperate to find any signs of spring.
Thankfully the weather prognosticators have been wrong the past few days and conditions have been more favorable than forecasted. The beagles smell spring in the air and have been begging for their walks. They haven’t had regular exercise since the beginning of January. They don’t care if mommy has worked a full day and all she wants to do is SIT, they want a walk! So, we are getting back to a routine of almost-daily hikes. At first I had to wear my knee-high rubber boots and we slogged through plenty of standing water and mud, but things are starting to dry out and I’ve been able to transition to hiking boots. Despite the fact that we’ve had a few days in the 50’s, there is still snow in some shaded areas, testament to how deep our snow was!
I did see one of my first signs of spring right outside my front door. No, not a robin (plenty of those hang around here all winter long) but bulbs poking up through the leaves.
These will probably be orange tiger lilies. There are daffodils mixed into this bed and some lily-of-the-valley, too. All bulbs that were blooming here when we bought this house 17 years ago and continue to survive despite me. I’m notorious for killing just about every plant or flower given to me, so I’ve left these bulbs well enough alone, fearing if I attempt to move them it would spell The End for them!
Out along the trail we walk I saw my FAVORITE sign of spring – pussy willows!! I love, love, love pussy willows but they have their soft buds for so short a time, I rarely get a chance to see them. I made a pitiful attempt at photographing them before breaking off a few small branches to bring home.
Farther along the trail I thought I saw a tinge of green in these bushes. I don’t know, can you see it, too?
There is still a lot of standing water on the trail, blocking our way to the Baptist church where we like to walk along the back of their property. These puddles look harmless enough but I know from experience that the second one actually gets quite deep, going over the top of my knee-high boots.
Since I was wearing my hikers this time, we turned around. Maybe next time I will wear my rubber boots and let the dogs wade through. They LOVE the water! Of course, I don’t know when we will get a “next time” since we are due for about 3 days straight of rain and much colder temps. More rain means the water will stay deep for awhile. It also means the farm fields we walk will turn back into quagmires.
I wanted to take some photos of birds but all my subjects were being extremely uncooperative.
It has been wonderful to get out in the fresh air. This winter was very hard on me. Between the harsh weather conditions and being ill for 2 1/2 months, my seasonal depression was worse than usual. Some days I really struggled to put one foot in front of another. I’ve decided that just as the season is changing, it’s time for me to experience a change in attitude. The other day while puttering around on Pinterest, I came across this saying. It really struck me, because I realized it had been a long time since I had “loved todays”. I want this to be my new motto.
In two weeks we will return to my beloved northwoods. That will be a be a day I will truly love!
Oh, and as a disclaimer – I took the beagles out walking first and then went back and took pictures. The chance of me taking pictures with three beagles on leashes is well, um, ZERO! 🙂