Spring Chickens & Vermont Thaw

IMG_3315Vermont experienced two days this week with temperatures in the forties, an entire ten-plus degrees above freezing.  During those two days, Vermont thawed a bit. Some of the snow melted (from feet down to inches) and the snow banks drew back.  The snow melted entirely in some sunnier spots, revealing fields of discolored grass and bent corn stubble.  It is now possible to see the ground in some places, and there are verges of mud on the edge of some roads.  The cold has now returned and it’s been freezing for days, but those two days this past week were enough to start the tree sap running, and cause the buds on the smallest tree branches to swell a bit, though barely.  Driving down the road, the willows and the maples have a visible reddish or yellow shimmer along their top-most branches, almost a mirage.  Those small buds are just enough to create a slight change in the outline of a tree, a haze the promises the beginnings of a tree leaf canopy yet to come.   I don’t know that anyone is sugaring yet; I haven’t spotted any steam or smoke from our neighbor’s sugar house. Continue reading “Spring Chickens & Vermont Thaw”