My Virginia friends profess to believe that Michigan is synonymous with the North Pole, or at least with Minnesota. This has led to summer conversations such as
Friend From Virginia: What did you do yesterday?
Me: Sat out on the deck and watched the birds
FFV: Weren’t you cold?
Me: It was 80 degrees!
Of course, the Michiganders aren’t much better. They spent all summer and spring telling me how miserable I was going to be come winter, the first half of winter assuring me that it was inordinately mild for this time of year, and the time since the cold snap started telling me that it used to be much colder, for much longer, and with lots more snow and ice. I think they were trying to scare me back to Virginia.
Now, I don’t want to challenge the native self image of toughness, but I’ve seen five inches of snow before, and I had a heating element for my bird bath in Virginia for a reason. Yes, on average it’s colder here, and the snow hangs around a little longer. But neither penguins nor polar bears have paraded through my yard.
Despite the icicles, I can already see signs of spring. The trees in the front yard have buds (heh, they’re Bradford Pears, the golden retrievers of the plant world; what do you expect?) . The days have been getting steadily longer and lighter, and started doing so almost immediately after the equinox. The geese have been flocking northward in ever increasing numbers, and the goldfinches are ever-so-slightly brighter yellow.
I’ve read that the red-winged blackbirds will return in February. That seems awfully early to me, but I’ve been watching carefully for any signs of them. The cedar waxwings, the herons, the blue birds… so much to look forward to.Tags: spring