This week, we can start to celebrate the end of winter. At least that’s the hope.
Don’t forget that we in Georgia received a record snowstorm on March 13, 1993.
There are all sorts of things tied to the beginning of spring. The swallows return to the Mission San Juan Capistrano, California. The sun shines on the Arctic for the first time since last year. In addition, there is a lot of legend and lore tied to the beginning of this welcomed season.
This has been a strange winter. We haven’t had severely cold weather, but we have had more than our fair share of rain. There are places on Lake Lanier that usually get just a tad of water from the lake. This year, they are more than full. There are docks that have floated away from the shore. Big chunks of Styrofoam used to float the docks have detached and are gliding in the lake. There are many coves that are blocked from the main channel as water has risen within a foot or two of several bridges. Some of the ramps are overrun by water.
It’s a little hard to complain about a full lake. We have seen Lanier and other reservoirs in Georgia reach record lows. There are places where the foundation of buildings that were submerged under the lake began to show traces of their pre-lake existence. Off Cleveland Highway, the old grandstand of the speedway began to be seen just a few years back.
A friend reminded me the other day that a few bad turns of the weather could result in a drought by summer. Bite your tongue, I thought.
But oh how I welcome spring.
I love the freshness of the air. The blooming of the trees and flowers and the beautiful palate of colors they provide are the best part of this new chapter.
This is the time we cross our fingers for our crops that have an early season, like the wonderful Vidalia onions, fresh strawberries and the blooms that will eventually turn into our tasty Georgia peaches. One bad cold snap can be costly.
In a few weeks, the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club will open their display of the famed azaleas. Even folks who don’t follow golf will watch the Masters just to see nature’s handiwork.
Out West, the snowcaps on places like the Grand Tetons will begin to ever so slightly melt to supply the needed water for the communities below. But spring is not in a rush to leave some of the region. Atop beautiful places like Beartooth Pass on the border of Wyoming and Montana, winter will hang around for a few more months. The snow doesn’t completely go away. Charles Kuralt, the late legendary CBS News correspondent called it “the most beautiful drive in America.”
The road itself is the highest elevation highway in Wyoming (10,947 feet) and Montana (10,350 feet), and is the highest elevation highway in the northern Rockies.
So, if you haven’t had enough winter, there are places around where it hangs on for a while longer.
As for me, I am ready for the green paintbrush of God to give us a fresh new coating for this year.