March 14th, 2008 | Uncategorized

signs of spring

It was so nice here today I was prompted to make another installment in the video series, Wild Kingdom: Shaky Handheld Footage of my Back Yard.

37 Responses to “thaw”

  1. dna says:

    …I love how peaceful the first few minutes are and then…crap!

  2. a lurker says:

    I particularly like how you labeled the sky “the sky.” in case any one got confused. 🙂

  3. iara says:

    When you said “crap” I braced myself for something else.
    For a while, I lived in some cold places in Canada and I will never forget the big thaw in Spring. Suddenly, all the frozen products of so many dog walks would simultaneously thaw (or un-thawr, as some would put it) and mingle with the smell of wet, decaying plantlife. Mmmmm, that smell of Spring…. still brings back memories.

  4. Cate says:

    Nice images… I was trying to imagine a parallel wander through my uber-urban neighbourhood filled with filthy icy snow heaps right now.

  5. meg says:

    Sumer is icumen in:Lhude sing cuc-cu

    but not quite yet… new snow today, dammit.

  6. Eva says:

    I especially liked the footage of the muddy rivulet. Spring is sproinging.

  7. Eva says:

    P.S. As it happens I posted a couple thaw stills on my blog last week: check it out if you need more indications of almost-spring.

  8. Deena in OR says:

    Alison, did I really see Kitty begging to be let in even though the kitty door was right there? Funny little creatures, aren’t they?

    Deena (who had to have a cat funeral in the backyard this week, and misses her buddy dreadfully)

  9. Noominal says:

    People who grew up in climates with true winters never forget the signals of spring. It’s like hope renewed after an endless wait.

    In early springtime, I always feel like a bit like a bear waddling out of hibernation finally, blinking at the sunshine… disoriented, clumsy, and drunk on sensory overload.

    I grew up in upstate NY, and my farthest move away from true season changes was Texas, where they literally sprayed their lawns white to symbolize winter. (I kid u not.)

    I also have a friend who grew up in Croatia, moved to Texas, then to California, where she stated she had no frame of reference for events in the past in warm climates because there where no seasons surrounding any memories. It was always the same temperature, and people always wore the same clothes. A photograph of a visit trapped in a camera too long could have been taken yesterday or 5 years ago.

    Seasons put us in context in time. I love the transitions most.

  10. Kate L says:

    The frisky chickadees were my favorite scene in the video. Well, that and A.B.’s legs. 🙂 This morning, I helped carry the rainbow flag in my little midwestern town’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade. It was cold as heck. Afterward, I got a friendly nod from a local police officer. She may have been one of us. Signs of spring, indeed…

  11. Kate, nice thaw pix! Yes, Noominal, that’s it–temporal contextualization! I’d go mad if I lived somewhere where there were no seasons.

    Deena, I’m so, so sorry about your cat.

  12. d/f/ says:

    damn i miss the seasons, here in Cali… washed out temperate bland sameness, don’t kno what time it is, feels like, till i go home (the Midwest)

    nothing like the whispering stirring maybe’s of vitality after months of grey, snow, cold

    sorry to hear of yr loss Deena

    and yet, frisky chickadees.

    life frisks its way on.

  13. Jeffa says:

    I was born and raised in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley. Spring here is glorious, but I never really appreciated it fully until I went to live on a tropical island. Three years on Guam melted together into one long, unrelieved summer. There were a dozen reasons for me to leave, but number one on the list was SEASONS.

    My first spring back in my beloved green valley was one of the most magical times in my life. I felt like a child again, discovering the glory of one of the greatest gifts that Mother Nature bestows on us.

    The best and most vivid memory of that time was probably the simplest – stepping outside and sniffing in great draughts of the headiest fragrance on earth, a smell so intoxicating it seemed to have mysterious super powers. Grinning like a fool, standing there in the thin sunshine, I could feel countless tiny balloons of delight expand in my chest – I swear it felt just like falling in love!

    That was twelve years ago, and I have never taken spring for granted since.

  14. Stasa says:

    I’m living in southeastern Michigan right now, and yesterday spotted one of our main signs of Spring returning: the first red-winged blackbirds!

    And our chickadees are starting to sing “Dee-dee!” more often than their warning of predators, “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee!”

  15. Deena in OR says:

    Alison, d/f/,
    Thanks. It’s getting better, but the intensity of my grief at the time kinda blindsided and shocked me at the time. Calvin was a sweet boy, and went too young.

  16. Eva says:

    Alison – did a Kate person post thaw pics that I can’t find, or were you noting my post and typed the name “Kate” by mistake because it was the closest posted name? I feel foolish asking, but I really like the photos I posted on my blog…so if you really like them, I’d be so psyched!

  17. oh, jeez, eva, I’ve been so spaced out all day. I meant you! Nice thaw pics!!

  18. Grieve away, Deena. It’s good for you. Poor young Calvin.

  19. Jana C.H. says:

    Almost-spring! And here in Seattle the cherry trees are in bloom. Deena, yours on the Willamette may well be finished blooming by now. Another major sign of spring is that I no longer go to work in the dark and come home in the dark.

    Our two major seasons, however, are wet (mid-September through mid-June) and dry, and the wet season has some time to go. I’m not complaining; I’m a Northwesterner born and bred. When I lived for a few years east of the Cascades, I become sooo tired of waking up every morning to the same boring blue sky. It’s like there was no reason to look out the window; I knew what would be there. And when I drove back to visit my family on the Olympic Peninsula, I would stand on the ferry dock and just breathe the sea air, feeling much the way Deena did on her return to the Willamette Valley in spring. Ah, home!

    Deena, I too send my condolences on the loss of your beloved Calvin. I remember how broken up I was when I lost my first Russian Blue, Grigio. Now I have Boris, and I would have lost him recently if I didn’t have a good line of credit: three thousand dollars to remove a large rubber band from his stomach and several feet of embroidery floss tangled around it and coming out the other end. If I hadn’t been able to borrow money to pay for surgery, I would have had to have him put to sleep. He is now fully recovered (except for his bald tummy), and worth every penny. But no Democratic Convention in Denver for me this year!

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Albert Schweitzer: There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.

  20. Eva says:

    Thanks – for the compliment and the clarification!

    Deena, sorry about the loss of your cat – I hope you have people and other animals nearby to help you through this hard time. If not, I hope the virtual condolences we’re sending lend you a bit of ease.

  21. Cate says:

    Alison, I’m grateful to you for prompting to notice signs of spring today. I live in downtown Toronto and the sun was out with temps above freezing for the first time today — but there are still enormous sprawls of filthy snow covering most of the sidewalks, with squished sodden litter emerging from its sides as it slowly gives way. Thanks to you, I could reframe this as signs of coming life rather than just plain antipathy.

  22. Ginjoint says:

    Aw Deena…I’m so sorry. The love of an animal has always seemed sacred to me – they have no guile (unlike us); their love is trusting and pure and forever unjudging. To know it makes life all the richer, although I’m sure you’re only feeling the loss right now. Just try to remember the lessons Calvin taught you as you work through your grief. Again, I’m so sorry.

  23. Ginjoint says:

    Cate, from one urban dweller to another – besides the filthy icy snow, another “sign” of spring here are potholes. Do you have those too? Also, like many cities, much goes on underneath Chicago’s streets; they’re not solid, and occasionally collapse into sinkholes – one of them ate a parked minivan last week. Swallowed the damn thing whole, in the middle of the night.

  24. Cate says:

    Yes, lots of potholes. AND I saw a guy running in shorts today — that’s a REAL urban sign of spring.

    That and when the rasta drummers return to the street under my windows. Sounds idyllic until you realize that someone else’s joie de vivre makes it hard to concentrate on your own work.

  25. Cate says:

    Oh, and I heard about that Chicago pothole, Ginjoint — that reminder that there’s a whole world underneath the street is really unnerving to me!

  26. Chris says:

    I, too, cracked up at “crap”. Thaw thaw thaw wonderful thaw! Wonderful even though fat bushy-tailed little kitty doesn’t seem to appreciate it much. That’s a very good whiny mew she’s got.

    Thinking of you, Deena. 🙁

  27. ready2agitate says:

    Another condolence from a once-bereaved human whose cat had to be put down way too soon (alas Mingus was only 3 years old – lymphoma). I was inconsolable (especially late at night – like now – when my partner was asleep). I’m with Ginjoint-the love of animals is so so precious. The still silence in the room when they don’t come scampering can devastate. But we do heal from the loss and treasure the memory. Today two cats claim me as their person and this as their home, and although there will never be anyone like Mingus, we delight in our kitties once again. Hang in there, sis.

  28. Suz says:

    Condolences for y’all’s loss of pets.

    In NYC, spring is marked by the return of Mr. Softee ice cream trucks. I heard my first Mr. Softee (heard, not saw; where some ice cream trucks have bells, Mr. Softees play a song and it’s everywhere in the residential parts of the city through spring and summer) of the season last week.

  29. Suz says:

    Egad, I should proofread before I post. Looks like my excitement about soft-serve ice cream got the better of me.

  30. Alex the Bold says:

    At 1:56, was that Bigfoot in the distance?

  31. Ginjoint says:

    Cate, you…heard in Toronto about a sinkhole in Chicago?! Huh. Must’ve been a slow news day at the ol’ Globe and Mail. Or, this spotlights the differences between Canadian and American news programs – your call.

  32. compost maven says:

    sure does make me homesick. i can hear that sap running all the way from southern california!

  33. Yeah, that was Bigfoot. Or a passing car. One or the other.

  34. Ian says:

    I thought the car was a moose.

  35. C.C. says:

    Deena, so sorry to hear about Calvin. I have a sick cat myself and the thought him leaving to pet heaven breaks my heart. Me long with Milo and Max send our condolences.

  36. jen mills says:

    When I lived outside of Detroit going to grad school, I would jump up and down when Dairy Mat would open, the hole-in-the-wall soft serve ice cream stand. Nothing compares to an orange sherbert cone dipped in chocolate, all for 79 cents. Definitely a sign of winter when it closed, and then finally spring when it opened up again.

    In Seattle there’s not only the cherry trees blooming (almost instantly it seems), going to work and coming home in the daylight (which really throws off your sense of time) but in my neighborhood, the ice cream truck music coming down the street.

    But instead of ice cream, the truck sells tamales. No joke. They’re amazing.

  37. The Other Andi says:

    A tamale truck??? In Seattle?!?! Wow, Seattle has really changed since I lived there. You couldn’t even get decent pizza at the time. Whereabouts can one find this truck?

    I always hated going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. That whole first winter I didn’t realize what was happening to me until the sun finally came back out in April… people think the rain is the problem; it’s not. It’s the gray, gray, gray. But now you have cherry blossoms! Hooray!