Winter may slip up on us quietly but spring has a way of surprising even the most prepared.
Carl Sandburg described the fog as coming in on little cat feet, sitting on silent haunches, then moving on. I think spring is like that same cat blasting off from its haunches to pounce on a mouse.
Just the word “spring” tells you it’s going to happen quickly.
One day I open the door and the swallows are back on my front porch. The next I wake in a warm pre-dawn morning and find out we’ve had a spring shower. It smells great even though it barely dampened the street. A pleasant surprise.
As I walk the dogs down the road I get another surprise when what I thought was a prairie dog in the distance turns out to be a burrowing owl sitting atop the little dog’s mound.
I was amazed at how fast the trees downtown bloomed. One day they were bare and rattling and the next they were exploding spring’s fireworks. My allergies also popped back up pretty suddenly too. At first you think it might just be the sand in your eyes but, no, those itchy eyes are reacting to more than dust in the air.
One day we’re reliving basketball’s Final Four, the next day I pass by a group of confused looking Little Leaguers getting their first taste of T-ball.
After lamenting whether my yard will ever recover from the winter beating the dogs subjected it to, I’m suddenly wondering why the heck they’re not trampling out those dandelions.
Maybe the biggest surprise I’ve had this spring was earlier this week on my knees in the yard as I scratched around a sprinkler head that needed to be repaired. Suddenly there was a toad frog crawling up my leg. The biggest surprise my neighbor’s had this spring was the sight of me perched atop a 6-foot fence trying to get away from a sleepy amphibian.
The first sunburn of the season really wasn’t much of a surprise. What bowled me over was how rancid the sunscreen that’s been in my tackle box for maybe seven years smelled. I couldn’t bring myself to slather it on my face.
The biggest surprise of the season will definitely be when that first noisy thunderstorm rumbles into the area. I’m not going to hold my breath ‘til it happens though.