April 2, 2014 —
After a few milder than normal winters, this winter has been an eye opener for many people; it has been cold with very few breaks and the wood pile that was slightly more than half used through last winter is now down to the last few logs of the last row. Spring officially arrived on March 20 this year, but as I write this column, it is 24 degrees and the wind is gusting up to 40 mph.
Do not give up hope; there are signs of spring’s arrival. Many skeins of geese were seen and heard a few days ago as they took advantage of a stiff south wind. About two thirds of eagle nests in the Upper Delaware River corridor have eggs as of last week. So far this year, the average start time for incubation is about a week behind the normal average, likely due to snowy nests early on. A friend has complained that a bear broke into his shed a week ago to plunder birdseed that was stored in a plastic cooler. After two successive nights of bear visits in the shed, my friend left the empty cooler outside to show the bear that it got all there was. Bear and other mammals are emerging from hibernation or sleep, hungry for spring treats.
The first few days of April should be more spring-like, although we can’t rule out a surprise or two through the month. Enjoy the warmer weather, and hope for the sights, sounds, and smells of a spring that is soon to come.