Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stinky signs of spring

Even though it's only mid February, we've had unseasonably warm temperatures for the last two days, melting the thick snow cover. I took advantage of it by taking a walk through the Warren salt marshes in search of a sign of spring. The marshes were monocromatic brownish-grey, wet and icy. I did not doubt I would find a glimpse of green though, because I know where to find the skunk cabbage. Sure enough, it was spiraling up through the frozen ground and cold ice water.

When we were children all we appreciated about the plant was the fun it was daring each other to kick one open and release the stink, but Craig Holdrege has written an excellent exploration of the noble qualities of the skunk cabbage. I don't know if it's especially early this year, but I'm afraid my anticipation of spring may be...I have to remind myself that we still can have plenty of snow, ice and freezing temperatures ahead. But I don't think it's my imagination that the birds are beginning to sing more cheerfully, and I heard the Mourning Doves cooing...

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