Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Things

The melt reveals large objects, too. Bad parking job.

By late March, it becomes apparent that there will be an end to winter.  Sure, there might be a few last snowstorms in April to set the progress back a few days, but the increasing solar energy is an undeniable force.  Things must warm up, simply because there is more time with radiant heat, than without.  As the longer, warmer days loosen winter’s grip, and the snow starts to slip away, it becomes a time of discovery.  Misplaced items are found, questions are answered and great truths are revealed as the veil of winter melts away.
Anyone who feeds birds over the course of a winter wonders how the little critters can eat so much seed.  One would expect delicate chirping to be replaced with reverberating belches.  As the snow recedes mounds of seeds are left behind, piled high under the feeder.  It becomes apparent that a band of little wastrels has been hosted throughout the winter.

Spring can’t arrive without the official, annual retrieval of the lost glove.  Flattened beyond anything that could be accomplished through mere human effort, the lost mate is peeled off the ground as soon as the miniature glacier retreats from the driveway.  The perfectly good, essentially unused other half of the pair sat the winter out in the protected comfort of a drawer or shelf.  The reunited pair looks nothing like a matched set. One is thick, supple and inspires warmth just to look at it.  The other is wider by half again, and has been pressed to the thickness of newspaper.

At least a scarf doesn't have a mate.
Various efforts to make such a pair of gloves match again have been attempted at our house.  The best results, to date, have been attained by soaking the undamaged glove in water overnight, and then driving over it repeatedly.  However, success has been limited.  The artificially treated glove always remains noticeably thicker.

This nickel and two pennies in a few minutes of searching.
Spring is a time of change.  This is never more apparent than when the ice disappears in parking lots.  Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters abound.  As the ice layers peel away from the blacktop, it isn’t impossible to go shopping for the week’s groceries and come out money ahead.  On sunny, warm days that promote rapid melting, the parking lots around stores are packed.  Easily half the drivers are lured to the lots by the thought of free change, rather than the possibility of spare change.

Every winter a multitude of hidden surprises accumulate along the roadways.  When the berms begin to shrink a veritable lost and found stretches for miles.  Most of the stuff is simply garbage, some of it is valuable, and on occasion, some of the things poking out of the dripping edges are inspirational in a macabre sort of way.

One spring, over the course of a week, I watched the subject of the following poem emerge from a berm along a road.  Titled “Berm Runners in the Spring” it can be sung to the tune of “Ghost Riders in the Sky, for those of you with a musical bent.  (If sung, the chorus is, “Hey, Fido!  Where’d you go? Berm runners in the spring.”)

Berm Runners in the Spring
From out of melting icicles, a patch of fur appears.
At first it’s just the eyes and nose, but eventually the ears.
You’ll finally learn where Fido went, when he did not return.
He spent the winter frozen stiff within a roadside berm.

Protruding paws outstretched to wave at every passing car,
His tail is stuck in snow and ice, he can’t run very far.
A frozen snarl is on his lips to greet the birds that fly
And land upon his frigid snout, to peck out both his eyes.

Standing high on crusty ridge, he strikes a stoic pose
An icon of fidelity amid the melting snows.
Back arrow straight, stretched out full stride, he goes no nowhere real fast.
The race he’s run is over now that winter time has passed.

As the springtime sun grows warmer, it starts to take its toll,
The snow base at his feet recedes; poor Fido starts to roll.
And soon enough our furry friend is one pathetic pup:
The snowbank sloughs and all that’s seen is four paws sticking up.

Out of sight, down in a ditch, he finds his resting place,
Defrosted fully, soft and limp, there’ll hardly be a trace;
A tuft of fur, perhaps a chain, is all that will remain,
Until next spring when berms are high, and the runners come again.

Not as good as dog, but ravens don't mind thawed... whatever, behind a fast food joint.
 If you enjoyed this blog tell your friends.  If you think it’s an abomination to the human spirit, tell your neighbor with the dog that barks all night. This post was partially excerpted from the e-book Of Moose and Men, available for 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

1 comment:

  1. Berm Runners, the return of one of my favorite AE classics!