Anne Coburn-Griffis - Putnam Sentinel
Anne Coburn-Griffis

Red wing blackbirds are on the move. It may be in the teens and 20s outside, but Spring is coming.

Friends rejoice when temperatures hover above the freezing mark. Until the thermometer is good and ready to stay warm enough for grass to green and grow, I wish the ground would stay frozen in place. This time of year is what My Steven and I call the Mud Season. Should we mop on a day when our shoe treads and the dogs’ paws are able to get a good hold in the topsoil? Or should we just sweep the top layer into the trash bin and pretend we live in a sod house courtesy of “Little House on the Prairie”? We should probably not pour maple syrup over a cup of snow scooped from this week’s snow like the Ingalls family, but I’m willing to pretend that we have a dirt floor sometimes.

During a recent thaw, Nemo the Pig learned to open the gate on her winter paddock. She opened that gate then proceeded to open the gate into the people yard. Because more is apparently the merrier for species other than humans, she opened other gates so that the goats, donkeys and llamas could keep her company. The gates are now chained but the front yard is patterned with all manner of frozen tracks. I hope the blackbirds don’t freeze before they can enjoy all those little birdbaths after a coming spring rain.

There are other signs of spring. The hens are objecting mightily to the removal of their nest eggs. Trees are budding where they are sheltered from wind chill. The dogs are shedding, adding texture to all that floor dirt. Seed packets and Easter candy are on sale. In a few days it will be in the 50s again. It’s probably premature to unpack shorts from cold storage, but I think it’s safe to roll up our sleeves and pretend that our world will be less brown and squishy someday soon.