Monday, March 17, 2008

Signs of change in the Blue Ridge

Farm Report
For weeks on end up in our part of the Blue Ridge, the predominant color has been slate gray in the treeline on the yonder ridge, framed by hard gray clouds overhead and a light gray stubble in the hayfield that slopes up toward the dirt road.
Down near the old springhouse, though, the seasons are sending out feelers. Tiny daffodils that never seem to grow higher than six inches have sprung back up. I went down to find some barbed wire in an old shed the other day and discovered on my way a handful of bright yellow blooms in a protected spot out of the nearly constant winds.
The evening before, just as twilight began to come on, I watched the last rays of the sun hit the western slope of the ridge across from us and realized it had begun blushing, maple buds just starting to swell and giving a faint rinse of color to an otherwise bland landscape.
Even the bare field has begun to show a smudge of the green tide that will begin to rise before long.
The wildlife are beginning to move about more now, too. We looked out the window a week ago and saw a flock of 11 wild turkeys strutting around the edge of the field not 100 feet away, scuffling and pecking for a late winter ort in ground that has just lately thawed.
A week ago Saturday it was mild one morning, then snowed like crazy for an hour and a half at midday, blew away overnight with temperatures in the teens before warming again the next day. We keep splitting firewood.
Spring doesn’t arrive with all its baggage and bummers for quite a while up around 3,000 feet, but its pickets are moving through quietly now, leaving behind unmistakable – and welcome – signs of what is to come.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

jack, thanks for that portrait of another appalachian spring in the works...it makes me want to pick up "pilgrim at tinker creek" again (and check out Greasy Creek for myself).

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