Joe’s Journal

Good news/Bad news: Spring edition

Ramblings from an old scribbler
Wed, 04/27/2022 - 7:30am

The other day as I drove over to East Boothbay to pick up the mail, I noticed that Alan Lewis had cut his grass. Every year, he carefully tends his hillside lot that includes the small strip of grass resting between his neat home and a stone wall he built himself.

I also noticed the peepers are out in force. And so are the red-winged blackbirds and ospreys who have arrived from their winter quarters. No matter what the TV weatherpersons proclaim with their complex charts and diagrams projected on a green screen, these are the true signs of spring. Eureka.

It is good news that our neighbors, like Alan, along with the peepers and birds have begun their annual spring routines.

The bad news part of the story is that it is time for you, and me, to pull “Old Betsy” out of the garage, knock off the rock hard grass clippings we forgot to scrape from under the mower deck last fall, and see if she will start for one more season. After that, it is time to begin the usual spring chores like picking up sticks and raking the loose stuff out of the garden beds.

At our house, the best spring news is that our eldest son came up from Indiana and, without being prodded, spent a day spreading seven yards of mulch on the gardens. Then he cleaned the garage, set out the porch furniture, and shoved the old snowblower under the garage stairs, where she will sit until Jack Frost returns. Thank you number one son.

Of course, just as the tulips started to peek out from the mulch that #1 son carefully spread, we had a nighttime visitor. And Yep, you know who it was.

Bambi snuck out of the woods, wandered up the back hill, tip-toed between the garage and the house, and chowed down on the sweet-tasting tulips.

On the same evening Bambi visited, the back deck bird feeders were slammed around and knocked about as a pair of fat trash pandas scratched for a bit of free protein.

This year, Mother Nature added a bonus. Last week, our walking group, dubbed the Old Fogies of East Boothbay, or something like that, was rewarded as a pair of great blue herons soared by, with one landing on a limb to stare into the clear waters flowing into Penny Lake.

It is all part of living in the Maine woods. We all understand we are the folks from away who are encroaching on the neighborhoods that generations of forest critters have called home.

Yesterday morning, soon after dawn, I poured a cup of hot coffee, pulled on a jacket, walked out the back door, and stared at the woods where I watched an aerial ballet as finches searched for breakfast and tiny nuthatches pulled seeds from the feeders and secreted them in the cracks of a nearby tree limb.

For a moment, just a moment, I didn’t care what was happening in Ukraine, although I am still terribly worried that that terrible regional conflict might turn into World War III.

For a moment, I didn’t have to fret about urban and rural shootings in red and blue states, or the soaring price of gasoline, what happened or didn’t happen on Jan. 6, politicians on all sides yelling at us, or the sharp twinge of gout that sometimes creeps into the big toe on my left foot.

The moment didn’t last long, no more than five minutes.Then my coffee got cold so I went back inside and rejoined the rest of the world.

But for a few ticks of the clock, just a few, I was able to enjoy the bliss of a crisp spring morning. After wrestling snow blowers and snow shovels for the last several months, it was a joy.

In the spring, it doesn’t get much better than that.

May I recommend you do the same?