The thaw has arrived: A winter's worth of broken ice along the Winooski River, Waterbury, Vermont.
Winters in central Vermont are hard -- even with the imminent arrival of global-warming induced climate change, there are still nights where the thermometer registers in the double digits below zero and snow piles up (for some reason, local drivers' winter driving skills seem to have deteriorated -- 2008/09 was a record season for weather-induced carnage on the interstates). And the preamble to the season -- the gloomy, dark days of November and December take a toll on the psyche even before the season proper begins.
So I'm not complaining that spring seems to have arrived early this year, there have been a string of sunny days with temperatures approaching 50, an positive counterpoint to the string of depressing news headlines. I was very surprised to observe that a flowerbed that gets some afternoon sun is starting to come alive:
Saturday: Green shoots poking up through the last remnants of snow.
Sunday: The snow is gone...
There have been clouds of finches in the backyard as mere survival becomes less of a grinding struggle and the search for a mate becomes more important.