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field of green grass

Spring Slowly Arrives

April 11, 2018

Categories: Nature Notes

By Wolf Ridge Naturalist

When Spring arrives on the ridge, it is not as Mary Oliver or other poets would write it as.

There are no tender tendrils of green peeking through the ground, with songbirds chirping happily in boughs of newly leafed trees.

No, instead the ground is covered in crystalized, crunchy snow, with earth infused. The mud grows thicker and thicker each day, as students tromp through diligently to their classes. Parents bemoan dirty pants and new school shoes, as the kids gleefully jump and skip through sludge. Woodpeckers are pecking at trees, hoping for an increase in nutritious insects and other pests. Slugs inch over the snow in the bright afternoon light. Deer leap across through road in unending excess, and sniffle the seed underneath the bird feeders. Maple sap is flowing, filling milk jugs, and being boiled by the dining hall.

Springtime on the ridge is not quite like other springtimes south of Hinckley, MN.

No tulips or daffodils will be growing, but instead excitement and glee arrive with the buds on the trees. Naturalists bask in sunlight reflecting off the crusty months old snow, exclaiming how balmy the weather truly is. A dip in Lake Superior is proposed, but then shut down when reminded of the chunks of ice still floating along the shore. Wolf Lake will not be open for a few weeks,  but the sun reflects on the ice and casts bright white light onto the valley, Marshall, and Mystical mountain.

Springtime on the ridge is slow and creeping, with each new change resulting in exaltation. It may be many weeks before we get tendrils of green peeking through the earth.