Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cabin Life: The Colors of Spring

Apple BudsThe first clouds we’ve seen in a while are rolling in, and there have even been a couple drops of rain that have fallen from the sky.  So instead of writing this while lying in the hammock, I’m sitting in the old rocking chair on the front porch.  I can see the four-wheeler, the wood pile, and the lawn chairs that I’ve been too lazy to put away.

The grass is turning green except for the area where I almost always park.  That grass is dead and carries the color of dried wheat.  Other than that, the colors are coming out, and the rain we’re about to (hopefully) get will only make them brighter.

A coworker commented to me that the colors of spring are just as nice as the colors of fall, but no one seems to care or notice.  Sitting here looking out over the upper field and on to the slopes of the hill out back, I can see his point.  Everyone comes to the Adirondacks to enjoy the fall foliage.  They don’t know exactly when it’ll be, so they watch the news and try to time it right to hit the peak color season in early October or so.

But right now there is a bounty of color that, when you take the time to notice it, is really pretty.  Beyond the grass of the yard, the apple trees are starting to show a dull lime green as the tiny leaves emerge.  The little poplars are glowing, and the maples are covered in deep red flowers.  The white birch bark stands out against the dark balsam needles and even the brown of the trees that aren’t blooming adds to the ambiance.

Right now, I can see the colors.  My eyes aren’t being bothered by allergies, as mornings are usually when I suffer the worst.  I’m hoping that we get this rain and it washes some of the pollen out of the air.  My car, which is normally a nice dark green is now a pale disgusting green with streaks down the sides from where the washer fluid flows when I cleaned my windshield.  It’s odd having to clean it of the dead bugs that are starting to splatter their yellow guts on my glass.

Just now, I heard the first few drops of rain on the tin roof of the porch.  We desperately need some rain, as it’s been almost two weeks since we got any precipitation.  In fact, the last time anything other than pollen fell from the sky, it was snow.  The little stream that runs behind my cabin is dry in most spots, and the seeds I started for the garden could use a little natural precipitation.

It’s amazing to me that after complaining about the amount of snow we got this year, I am now anxious for some rain.  The last two weeks have been nice but hot and dry.  There have been a few forest fires, and I hope that this summer is not a replay of last year.  But as it stands now, we’ve had a pleasant transition from winter to spring, and even though I got my first black fly bite of the year, I’m happy at the changing of the seasons.

There’s more birds around including lots of grouse and turkey.  I was woken up by a big tom turkey walking through the yard this morning.  He was calling loudly, looking for love.  I got up early and snuck out onto the porch to watch him walk through.  It’s turkey season, and if I was a hunter, I could have gotten this guy with no problem at all.  Lucky for him I’m not, but I did enjoy listening to him and watching him walk from the left trail through the lower field and down the driveway.  His bright red waddle was swinging side to side as he tramped around, and to me, it was just one more color to add to the palate of spring.

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Justin A Levine

Having grown up in the southern Adirondacks, Justin has always been at home in the mountains of New York. After graduating from Paul Smiths College, he began his career in the environmental field working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. After a brief five year detour to Florida, Justin returned to the Adirondacks to live off the grid in a small cabin with no running water or electricity.

Justin continues to work and play in the outdoors, and maintains a blog about living off grid, hiking, and being outside in the Adirondacks called Middle of the Trail.







One Response

  1. Sunny Day says:

    Justin, Nice observations about Spring colors.When I was Deputy Commissioner for Tourism and Marketing for the State of Vermont in the mid 1990s, we had an effective advertising and PR campaign based on just those characteristics — “Enjoy Vermont’s OTHER Foliage Season.” The goal was to relieve some of the congestion of the Fall Leaf Peeping season, and also bring visitors to the state in the shoulder season. It was effective, and even Vermonters appreciated the call to look at the beauty of their state a little differently.
    Susan

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