Rising from the Dead of Winter

Spring BreakingIt’s about to happen.  A miracle.  Again.  No matter how many times I experience it, the unfolding of another Spring after a Minnesota winter always feels like a miracle.  We are rising from the dead of winter once again.  The signs are revealing themselves.

The days are getting longer.  The sun’s rays grow stronger day by day.  Out in the farm fields the blanket of white has melted away to reveal the soil and crop residue.  Near last light, deer can be seen foraging for the kernels of grain that have been revealed.

Maple trees have begun to have sap flowing, and taps are being installed to collect the sweetness that will become the best topping ever for a stack of flapjacks.  Just a couple of weeks ago these same trees seemed lifeless and now it is as if they are rising from the dead.  By late March, buds will begin to swell as the sweet sap brings the King of the Shade trees back to life.

The physics and biology of how this happens can all be explained in detail by scientists,  but for me it’s the start of the annual miracle called Spring, and that is cause for celebration.

Soon dandelions, crocus and tulips will bravely emerge along the south walls of buildings and south facing slopes long before the end of freezing nights.  Bald Eagles are already nesting and so too are the owls.P1010123

With each spell of warm thawing weather the creeks and rivers begin to swell and the increased flow signals the walleyes and northern pike to move closer to their traditional spawning sites.   As more and more stretches of the rivers lose their covering of ice, the eagles can be seen swooping down to capture an unwary fish and carry it back to the nest.

Tom turkeys fanning for the ladies
Tom turkeys fanning for the ladies

Tom turkeys are fanning their tail feathers and showing off for the hens out in the middle of picked fields and in the woods, even though the actual mating season is weeks off.  Evidently strutting your stuff early on gets you noticed, and gives an advantage once April arrives.

You too can spot the signs of the miracle of  renewal that is starting to happen.  Go for a walk.  Let the natural world soak into your soul.  Notice the little things.  Allow the child inside you to rekindle a sense of wonder as you witness the land and all its inhabitants rising from the dead of winter.