By Barbara MellonSpring has had a difficult time getting started here in Andes. Tantalizingly warm sunny days are interspersed with frigidly cold ones marked by wintery winds and too frequent snow showers. The meteorologists on TV, radio and the Internet, as well as those on Main Street, try their best to forecast the weather, but many a morning greets us with conditions quite different from the predictions. It’s a time of year when both short-sleeved shirts and long johns must be kept close by.
Here on Doig Hollow, the first color of spring is red. Sadly, it is not the brilliant scarlet of a cardinal feasting at a bird feeder, but rather the dull brownish red of mud. Freezing and thawing, rain and melting snow all contribute to turning our quiet country road and driveway into a treacherous mess. Driving in thick gooey mud is more dangerous than navigating on ice. The mud grabs your tires and tries to steer for you, seldom wanting to go in the same direction as you do.
The sparkling kiwi green of my new car is hidden under a mask of mud, which transfers far too easily to me whenever I enter or exit the vehicle. The neat, clean outfit I put on for work is often smeared with red streaks by the time I get into the office; not a very professional look. And when I get home at the end of the day, the effusive greetings of the dogs finish off any hope of getting a second wearing out of the clothes I have on before they must go into the wash.
The many paws of the dogs and the large shoes of my husband collaborate to ensure a similar coating of mud throughout the house. I find myself dreaming of a doormat that measures 10 feet wide by 6 feet deep … something that would cover the porch from the stairs to the door … but even that would not prevent the drying mud hidden between pads of the dogs’ feet or stuck in the grooves on the soles of shoes from depositing itself on floors and furniture.
Last week I drove downstate to Orange County and was exhilarated to see the forsythia and daffodils in bloom there. What a difference a mere hundred miles makes! I especially love making this trip during spring and fall as I get to enjoy a kind of fast-forward of the seasonal changes. I’m craving those bursts of yellow here on my hill. The daffodils have just started to emerge from the soil, and it’s time to bring some forsythia cuttings in for forcing. I lust for their blossoms after the long winter.
Any day now I expect to see that slight hint of green appear on the mountain across the way as the trees begin to arouse. The progression of hues from early Spring to Summer is as amazing as the color changes in the Fall. So many magnificent shades of green, sure to chase away the winter doldrums. ~