Spring Is Sprung
I love this time of year. I love the way the birch tree branches turn dark red as the sap starts flow. Even the spruce trees seem to turn from black to green as the warming temperatures awaken them from winter’s stupor.
I am thrilled when the sun is able to stay above the southern horizon all day long, instead of falling behind the ridge of mountains that make up my southern horizon. I love watching the migrating geese and ducks and song birds arrive.
The mountains across from me shed their cloaks of snow in dramatic fashion—by sending thunderous avalanches crashing and cascading down their flanks. I watch with great anticipation as the snow recedes from my lawns, looking carefully for any damage from tunneling voles. I keep close track of the various eagles’ nests near me and place binoculars at all the appropriate windows. Last night I spotted the first mountain goat of the season.
The thirty foot long moat that filled my driveway last week is a memory, a memory triggered only by the large scrape on my right knee from falling on corn snow while trying to bicycle through the slush-filled moat. Now, the drive is gravel all the way to the highway. The snow banks that were two feet high along my drive last week are less than a foot high now.
But, what I really, really like about spring is taking the studded tires off the vehicles. Last week I took the truck into the tire shop in Seward and had them balance the heavy tires and put them on the pickup. The drive home that day was so quiet, I was anxious to get the mini-van’s tires swapped too. Monday morning I called to see how busy the shop was.
“Tomorrow or Wednesday would be better,” said Sharon. That didn’t fit my schedule very well. I leave in a few days for a month-long trip, and the State says we have to have studded tires off by May 1. I won’t get back from my trip until late May. The temperature outdoors was 57 degrees, I was already in shorts and a tee shirt, the tires were mounted on summer rims, making the job easier, and these tires weigh less than half the truck tires.
I decided to do it myself. I had the power tools to make it easier, and I’ve done it dozens of times. An hour later I was finished, all the tools returned to their proper places, and the winter tires stacked in the wood shed. I made a trip to Anchorage Wednesday on nice, quiet summer tires. I delivered the mail to Hope and Cooper Landing yesterday. I’ll do it again tomorrow.
Today it’s snowing.
April 25, 2008 Gullible