Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring Sprung?

The weather here in Toronto moved into double digits (Celsius) yesterday. It was a treat. We’re all getting sick of winter, right on schedule. Every year, right about now, we start complaining about the winter, though efforts are made to hold off as long as humanly possible.

I actually try not to complain at all. It’s not that I like winter. I once did, but now don’t. Seriously don’t. I’m quite sure it’s got something to do with age. Don’t skate or ski anymore, hate the slush, hate the cold, hate the ice and worry about falling on the damn stuff.

But I don’t complain, at least not in conversation. I have other problems. I happen to be one of the few people (besides my husband) who absolutely can’t stand the heat. Warm is good, so is sun, but not hot, steamy weather. It just does me in. It makes me wither. I don’t want to move in it. You want me to do something for you? Ask me in spring, fall or winter.

So I give myself permission to complain about summer. Winter?  No. I decided it’s just not right to complain about more than one season if you don’t want to sound like an unhappy crank.  Plus, I don’t need to complain. Everyone else is doing a fine job.

Though the temperature dropped back down today, signs that spring is on it’s way seem to be buoying my neighbors’ spirits. And that, too, is a treat.  Hope springs eternal for spring, especially on Toronto Island where I live. The backyard naturalists are coming out of hibernation and starting to share their sightings.

The first one came a few days ago as an email on the “egroup” we have in our community. The egroup is a place for neighbors share info about upcoming events, items for sale, bicycle thefts, search for lost mittens and now, thoughts of spring.

My neighbour’s subject head read: Snowdrops in Bloom!

“We have a big clump already flowering. To join in the early snowdrop race, watch where the afternoon sun 
hits your yard these days, and where the snow melts first. If you can 
find some spots by south or west-facing walls, they will work best. 
Then stick markers in, and plant some snowdrop bulbs there in the 
fall. It's easy, and it works.”

Lovely. A day later, the next one showed up. Subject head: The mergansers are courting like crazy

“The mergansers are courting like crazy.
The snow it is fading away

I went for a walk with no gloves on –.
And guess what?
It was really okay.” 

Because our sidewalks are always a “mess” in our community once the snow melts, I responded to my neighbour with my own, albeit more smartass email. I couldn’t help myself.  My missive? “Spring is sprung? Watch out for dung.”

A note on today’s egroup alerted us: “spotted, a lone trumpeter swan just off the wall in the eastern gap.” I’ll be out soon for a look.

And at a dinner party last night, our hostess told us she had that day heard the beautiful sweet song of the white-throated sparrow. It’s a much-loved bird around these parts, one that generally flies though sometime in April.

Though sorry to burst her bubble and sound like a curmudgeon, I had to tell her. “I think it most likely was the spring call of the chickadee. It sounds remarkably similar to the white throat.”

She agreed. “But the spring song of a chickadee is still pretty exciting.” I couldn’t agree more.

Fortunately, I have lovely neighbors who delight in spring and all that comes with it. I’d hate to live next door to Dorothy Parker. This is what she had to say about spring.

“Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.”

I’m going to search around on the internet now in case Dorothy has a little negative something to say about the unbearable days of summer. Something I can actually relate to.

1 comment:

  1. Another unhappy crankFebruary 26, 2011 at 6:33 AM

    I realize this has nothing whatsoever to do with warm weather, but
    Dorothy also said "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think"
    My love for her hasn't diminished, even after reading her miserable remarks about my fave season.
    I hope every fellow follower of your delightful blog finds some Parkerisms and submits them.
    And please, Linda, do let us know when/if you find anything.