Friday, April 1, 2011

April's Just Fine For Me

We've got some sap snow on tap. Just learned that phrase. The snow that comes down while folks are out tapping the maple trees. It's cold at night - cold enough for snow and to get the sap running.  You see the buckets hanging on trees the old fashioned way, or the tubing running through the woods to the collector bin on the side of the road.  Once I had the pleasure of hanging out in the sugar shack, eating some homemade (not box) mac and cheese, stoking the fire along the length of the long trays, adding long logs, and watching the maple syrup simmer and clouds of evaporating liquid fill the air in the barn.  It's a wonderfully relaxing experience. Conversation is small.

The daffodils and tulips are 2 inches high and will handle last night's snow easily. The robins and red-winged blackbirds are everywhere pulling fat worms out of the loosening dirt.  In late afternoon you see dozens of deer in the fields filling their bellies and delighting in the ease at which they can get food these days. Same for turkeys - the farmers are spreading their winter piles of manure and there's something for all the birds to eat. Toms are strutting their stuff - tailfeathers all fanned out - getting ready for mating season.  Quails are sitting on nests on the sides of hayfields, blending their grey, tan and brown into the spring colors. 

Muddy roads are usually when I get myself in trouble. Get going a little to fast and you pop in and out of rutts and then slide over to the ditch on the side of the road.  That's my only warning for the warming month.  Otherwise, just get out and enjoy the longer days. Take a hike, go for a leisurely bike ride. Warm up those muscles that have only shoveled snow or brought in firewood all winter.  Spring's coming back to the mountains and there'll be lots to do!!! 

April is a month usually overlooked as a fun month. But for me it's one of the ones I like best. It's the month before it gets busy - when you can still relax and just think about what you've got to do. Clean up tasks are easy and cathartic.  The pace is comfortable. So get out and enjoy your weekend house, your hayfields, plan a weekend trip chock full of relaxation.  The vibe is mellow and welcoming.

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