With the beautiful weather that we have enjoyed for the past week it is hard to deny that spring is here. About one week ago the crocuses in my yard were in full bloom. Years ago when someone helped weed my flower bed they tossed my crocus bulbs out into the lawn not recognizing them. Thanks to that I now have a front lawn filled with delightful purple crocuses.
Saturday, I noticed that the daffodils on my bank were showing yellow. By Sunday morning, they were in full bloom. I know this is quite early, but I am enjoying it while it lasts. The tulip leaves are already quite tall. Who knows when they might decide to open?
The warm weather marked the end of the maple syrup season. I think producers did better than I thought they might. It looked like a very short season. Maple syrup might just be in short supply this year. There are people who say they will not pay the price for a gallon of syrup. To those people I say enjoy your sugar syrup. They do not realize how hard the maple producers work just to produce a gallon of the amber syrup. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to boil down to make a gallon of syrup. Once it gets close to being ready to boil, it takes a lot of watching before it can be bottled.
Temperatures have reached nearly to the 80s. The clerks in the store were complaining about how hot it was inside. Businesses are not yet ready to run their air conditioners. The one clerk chastised herself saying, ''Listen to me. I am complaining about being hot and it is only March!''
Her sentiment I am sure is echoed by many of us. It certainly has been unseasonably warm. I have already used my sun roof to let the warm air out of my car. When I came out of church the car registered just shy of 80 degrees, but, of course, that was in the sun.
My porch rocker is a great place to sit to read. I have already taken my book out to enjoy it. I am sad that it is once again DST because now it is still dark in the morning when I am enjoying that first cup of coffee. I used to enjoy taking my coffee out on the porch to listen to the birds. Now I cannot see the birds if they are there.
My dog and I took a walk the other night just for the exercise. We both slept soundly that night. My granddaughter and I had already walked the track at the YMCA in the morning so I had plenty of exercise.
A day off of school left time for one of the grandsons to walk the trail at the Audubon with me. I had tried to do it earlier in the winter but the weather did not cooperate. The other days he had off it rained, and I do not like to walk in the rain. I do not mind walking the trails in the snow. That is invigorating.
We opted for the long trail that led around the big pond. We stopped along the way to visit the lookout areas. We saw a number of birds, but little else, but then it is early. We saw robins, red-winged blackbirds, sparrows, geese and seagulls. We did see a frog jump off the bank into one of the ponds.
He told his father he saw an eagle - that, of course, was Liberty! She seemed to be enjoying her day on one of the perches within her cage. She was quite vocal that morning. Neither of us recalled ever hearing her make that much noise.
There are several points of new construction at the Audubon. A dedicated team of volunteers builds to keep the trails in shape. If you have never gone for a walk up there, you need to do it. You can pick a short trail to start with so that you see what is available. It is my favorite place to walk. There is always so much to see.
I told my grandson that April would probably be a better month to see things. The wildflowers will be out and the animals will be building nests. He remembered that we saw a goose with eggs right along the trail when we walked there one time. He suggested that we find time to walk in April as well.
Toward the end of April, they do bird banding at the Audubon. One year I took the grandchildren up to observe. They were delighted that they each got to hold a bird that was being banded. It was fun for them to release it. There are pictures in each of the scrapbooks so they will not forget.
We actually walked a combination of trails that yielded about a three-mile walk. It was a beautiful day. Although it was cool when we started, it was close to 70 degrees when we finished. The sweatshirts came off before we went into the building.
If you are a member of the Audubon you can go into the building with no charge. We wandered through the live exhibits checking out the turtles, snake and fish. If you are not a member, you can go up on any Sunday afternoon. Sundays are free. There is never a charge to walk the trails. They do like to have you document anything that you see that is unique.
When people complain that there is nothing to do around here, they do not know what things they are missing out on. Nature is a powerful teacher. Get out and enjoy it!
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa.