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by Rod Johnson
What is it about this time of year that gives us all the feeling that something special is going on? There's a subtle but definite sense of enlightenment, a rekindled awareness of our surroundings, with noises and smells not heard or sensed for nearly a year. It's not just one or two things that cause us to feel a little giddy, but a whole shopping list.
I started to name some items that seem appropriate and realized that because there were so many, I needed to break them down into categories. I ended up with four columns: smells, noises, visuals and other.
Let's start with smells. How 'bout barbecue smoke from the neighbors grill, fresh earth from the tilled garden, mulch from the bark and leaf piles, apple blossoms and lilac buds, the list goes on. See what you can come up with.
Moving on to noises, oh yeah, and there are plenty. Let's start with returning birds chirping their favorite songs, water running in the brooks and streams, kids yelling while playing outside after supper, a lawn mower in the distance. Two of my favorites are the peeping and croaking frogs at dusk, and it nearly goes without saying, that the loons calling is most likely to be voted #1 sound.
The visuals seem most important. Here are some: pussy willows are easy to spot before the leaves come, and, as the snow recedes, crocuses are the first color along the house foundation. The many kinds of tree buds have appeared, and especially noticeable are those of the red maples. The tulips are beautiful but short lived, and the many species of ferns down in the wet areas are popping. As snowbirds ourselves and as we cruise up the Maine turnpike around May 1, there are always comments on the bright yellow forsythia growing around the bridge abutments.
What fits into the "other" column? Perhaps the longer days, damp morning air, the warming lake, and oh yes, let's not forget potholes in the camp roads!
All in all, this list only scratches the surface, but one thing is for sure — they all add up to the many causes of SPRING FEVER. It's a time for new awakenings for all living things both plant and animal. Is spring your favorite time of year?
Author's Note: By the time you read your first copy of Summertime, spring will be well on the way to summer. So enjoy what’s left of spring and welcome in the summer of 2016. Thank you for being a reader. —T.L.B.