Melting Out of our Winter Shells

Soggy.

Soggy.

Spring has finally decided to show its face here in Duluth.  Sure, there’s still a foot of snow on the ground, but it’s been in the sixties for two days now.  Everything’s all soggy, including my tent in the tree platform.  Speaking of soggy, if I were to use one word to describe Spring here, that would be it.  The snow melts and oozes into the saturated ground, where it lays stagnant in expansive pond-like puddles.

Fortunately, the inside of my tent is perfectly dry.  I’m beginning to adjust to using earplugs instead of relying on the thick snow walls of the quinzhee.  Otherwise, life goes on as usual.  For me, that is.

The same cannot be said for all the birds and animals that are now reappearing and migrating through.  I saw my first robin of the year a few days ago, and I’ve been hearing geese flying overhead, too.  And, lo and behold, along with the joys of spring birds, the scourge of summer is beginning to creep back into the world.  This morning, I saw the season’s first mosquito!  Soon hundreds, no – tens of thousands of them will be spawning in the numerous puddles.

All the animals showing up reminds me of something my parents and I thought of this winter.  Even though we humans pride ourselves in being more sophisticated than animals, our methods for coping with winter are actually quite similar.  Some of us go south to warmer climates, some of us layer up, and some of us stockpile food and sleep ceaselessly.

Just another example of how, despite the perception that nature is part of our world, we’re really part of nature’s world.

 

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