I’ve been staring at the calendar waiting patiently for spring to make a commitment, but every time a change in season seems to gain traction, another snow or rainstorm dampens my expectations.
It’s not that winter hasn’t been fun; trudging through the snow in knee-high boots, shoveling a pathway every few days to open a footpath to the street, scraping off the ice and snow from my windshield and then sliding through the icy slush to work; but I’m ready to put my floor heater away and start wearing shorts and flip flops again.
The winter season has prolonged its stay and outlived its welcome, according to some. Even the squirrels, leaving their hidden bunkers, have quizzical looks on their faces — or so I’ve noticed.
I’ve also noted spring poking its head out between storms trying hard to make a comeback.
Perhaps by the time this goes to press, spring will stop messing around, the skies will finally stay clear for more than a few days at a time, and spring will present itself front and center.
Don’t get me wrong: The snow-capped peak of Mt. Lassen, forests blanketed in a snowy carpet, toothy icicles; wondrous and majestic spectacles. I’m glad for a wet and snowy winter that has finally defeated a devastating drought.
If I proclaim spring to be my favorite season, it’s because it offers everything in one package. Like Goldilocks’ proverbial porridge, it’s not too hot, not too cold. It’s a time to appreciate the flowers blooming and life reawakening all around us.
One could almost make out the gala of impending springtime in the tunes of songbirds settling in to nest while chatting it up to whoever will listen.
My brother, who has lived in the region for nearly 40 years, quipped that there are just two seasons in the North State — winter and July. He may be right.
Apparently there are no guarantees when it comes to mountain weather.
Although spring has been slow to take root, I feel optimistic that change is imminent.
Once the snowplows have been put away, and the last snow chain is hung up to dry, all our frosty mornings will be distant memories.
In its stead, streams have grown torrential from the spring melt, and herald an ideal milieu for fly-fishing and other river adventures.
A somewhat prolonged winter hasn’t halted the influx of migratory birds returning to their favorite watershed.
Springtime by the calendar has invited a myriad of winged species to a homecoming, with the sight of bald eagles, pelicans and the great blue heronsoaring high above Lake Almanor; inspiring as it is enthralling to observe from the lakeside. Before long the grebes will return to their habitats to raise their chicks, deer will return from the lowlands, poking around trees and nipping at fresh mountain grass.
I can already envision lakes filled with jet skis, sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards and flocks of beach goers, including myself, slathered in suntan lotion, wearing a wide brimmed hat and sitting in a rickety old beach chair.
The winter has been stubborn, despite the welcome rainfall, but locals and tourists alike have waited patiently to venture out to enjoy another year of recreational activities that our region is famous for in its variety.
As I work on writing this piece on an early Friday morning — a few days before publication, I see outside my window that the ground is covered in an icy frost like a diamond jacket. The angle of light from the rising sun has also created a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors in the microscopic crystalline deposits of ice that cover the branches and bushes across the street.
For a few moments I stare mesmerized. … Maybe spring can wait a little while longer after all.