Monday, February 23, 2009

Winter Has My Permission to Leave

"Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"
William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

It is less than one month until the vernal equinox and the first day of spring. Winter started in earnest around the middle of November and we have endured three full months of its icy grip. Another February storm came our way yesterday and the northeastern part of the continent is now bracing for a very large snowfall.


Many of our worst storms come at the end of the winter season but we know the snows will not last forever. We were wondering if we could teach Dakota how to push the snow shovel, but he did not show the least bit of interest in this type of work. I think he would have been a perfect sled dog with his thick coat and love of the snow.


Walking along a trail just before the snow started to fall, I noticed that colour is beginning to appear in the bush as the sun gets stronger. The dogwood branches are red, the willows are becoming more yellow and the evergreens stand out against the blue sky.

Maple sap being cooked down to syrup at Winterlude

It will soon be time to enjoy the first crop of the spring season as sap starts to run in the sugar maple trees. Mild sunny days and cold nights are needed for a good harvest. Soon we will notice curls of smoke rising from sugar shacks on local farms and the time will come to look for the first pussy willows.

"If we had no winter,
the spring would not be so pleasant."

Anne Bradstreet

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40 comments:

  1. Ruth,

    I didn't know your dog was named Dakota. Well, now we both have dogs with that name. Our little guy has learned that he loves snow and it looks like your Dakota does too.

    Enjoyed the photos and yes, spring is on the way. Westfield Heritage Village announced yesterday on the news that they will be open for the Maple Syrup Festival every Sunday in March. The boys and I always look forward to going.

    Thanks for your kind comments on Brandon's trip. He did awesome.

    Take care and have a great week.
    Blessings,
    Mary

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  2. PS. I just read your post about the deer and visited AC's post as well. I also enjoyed the post about President Obama. I would love to try a beaver tail.

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  3. I agree. We appreciate Spring because there is Winter. So let's have fun and enjoy all seasons.

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  4. I want spring back too! I love the picture of your dog and the maple syrup cooking. What an intriguing process.

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  5. we got 20 inches overnight. I'm not looking forward to driving today and I am definitely looking forward to maple syrup as a strong harbinger of spring.

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  6. It sounds like you're as anxious as I am. With red-winged blackbirds and common grackles recently returned, I know spring is near. I think we're all especially tired of this winter that has been so long, and so bitter cold.

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  7. I love the snowy face on Dakota. Dogs can be so silly in the winter. No matter how old they get there is just something about romping in the snow they enjoy. The road trip to and from the farm yesterday(Sunday) certainly wasn't pleasant. Listowel certainly was getting a much better snowstorm then KW. After a full 3 months of snow...I still like it. But I'm also excited for spring and the treasures that come with it.

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  8. Mary- Thanks for your comments. Yes, our Dakota came from the pound with that name 10 years ago. I want to visit a sugar bush in March as well. I remember your post about Westfield last year.

    Antigoni- I love the way your celebrated winter with your family. I think winter in Greece is shorter than here :-)

    Kim- Maple syrup is big business around here. I am sure I will be doing more posts about it.

    Beth- I saw your FB status and that is why I knew the NE was in for BIG snow. I cannot complain!

    Jan- Maybe I will see a RWBB by the first of March. I am looking.

    Cheryl- Listowel would have been a nasty drive yesterday. There was way more blowing snow near the lake. Glad you were all safe.

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  9. I'm with you.Winter also has my permission to leave and I know it will,hopefully soon.The picture with the red shrubs is beautiful.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  10. February is my least favorite month. It's such a looong wait for spring but I do believe it makes me appreciate spring more when it finally does arrive.

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  11. I've always thought it was so wise to make February the shortest month of the year. I think we are all ready for spring.

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  12. Oh, I love the idea of spring showing up shortly! Right now we're having that rainy weather just above freezing, which doesn't seem all that promising. But I saw buds on the forsythia bushes yesterday, and they WILL pop open at some point!

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  13. I offer my permission too, but we've a long way to go here in Eastern Ontario. I've usually had enough by the end of February, but my patience seems to have run out even earlier this year.

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  14. I love that big maple syrup pot! Now there's a stew pot for you.

    We are to get snow again this week too. A gray day out there this morning.

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  15. I agree with the last quote. We need winter to appreciate spring.
    We used to have a black lab mix who got a white face as she grew old. Your Dakota reminds me of her.

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  16. Spring is on it's way but we still have to finish with winter. At least the days are longer.

    Maple syrup! Our days haven't been warm enough for that yet here. ;-)

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  17. Winter blues turn to spring cheer. Those dogs just look so happy thpugh with the winter snow I would keep it jsut for them.

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  18. Ruth: I'm feeling the same way, I'm done with Winter. The trouble is when will Winter be done with us.

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  19. I like to see if you can train Dakota to shovel the snow :)

    Hang in there, it wont be long before the sun appears on a daily basis.

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  20. Not more snow! Almost makes one want to lie down on one's back and have a perfect toddler-style hissy fit!

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  21. Well, to be sure, winter does make us appreciate spring! Your photos are really beautiful and Dakota looks like such a love! Thanks so much for sharing your world -- cold and all!

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  22. I always loved February in Vermont and Quebec with the sugaring off and maple sugar candy.February storms seemed easier to survive that March storms that blacked out Montreal for a week with the ice load bringing down half the power lines.
    No matter what the weather throws at you, bubbling maple syrup and the lovely colour when the rising sap paints the twigs is such marvellous compensation for the persisting cold.
    A beautiful post.

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  23. Ruth, our Black Ducks have a very different drake to yours, the Mallards are introduced.

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  24. I saw your comment on the S. FL Watershed Journal and decided to investigate your blog. What a delightful place you have! I enjoy your perspective on things (had never thought of maple sap being harvested like a crop) and your selection of literary quotes. Warm wishes from a warmer place!

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  25. Winters are so long - I certainly agree with your title. Loved that pic of the cauldron of bubbling maple sap.

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  26. I like your title - yuup, winter has my permission to leave, too! Although we have no winter here in Malaysia, I can feel the excitement in you guys regarding spring. It's just around the corner ...

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  27. I second that spring goes away . . all in favor?

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  28. I don't want to sound malevolent, but it's nice to see some snow. It's summer here in NZ and we never get snow!

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  29. Spring will come. Snow will melt. New growth already there.
    Love the smell and taste of that maple syrup, especially the crust in the bottom of the can.
    Looks like Dakota goes for the snow. Carson always loved it.
    Today, I was out in mid 60s F in a T-shirt. But I don't really care for snow anymore.
    Great MWT post, thanks for sharing.

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  30. Wish you could share some of that snow here. It has been pretty dry here.
    Debbie

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  31. Awwww...Dakota..you don't want to use the shovel..LOL..He looks like he had a good time in the snow, but I am with you..I want spring...

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  32. Burr I will have to blow some sun your way too. I enjoyed your photos.

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  33. Oh i totally agree with you. I think winter should leave right after christmas nice set of photos tho

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  34. LOL... I snorted when I enlarged that first photo and saw Dakota's face! What a sweetie!! Indeed, a snow dog! Keep safe and warm Ruth. Spring WILL come. :c)

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  35. That's alot of snow you have there! Love the piccie of the maple sap cooking, never seen that before.

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  36. 'Winter has my permission to leave' made me laugh out loud. I sort of feel the same way by now.
    Lovely dog that Dakota. I've got two dogs myself and they certainly seem just pleased to have snow around. I don't think they'd agree to shovel it away either.
    Nice colourful shrub branches though. The same phenomena has been happening over here the last few weeks.

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  37. I agree, it's been a tough winter here too. We've had record snow and it seems like my hands are always cold, in the house!

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  38. Thanks for all the kind and interesting comments and welcome to some new visitors. If I didn't have a job I could respond individually to all of you, but I have visited your blogs and left some comments.

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  39. I noticed just the other day that my dogwoods branches are starting to turn really red again too.
    We have another big winter storm heading our way today. I believe it's moving northeast, so get ready--winter is going to ignore our wishes for a while yet!

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  40. If I had to endure a winter such as that I would be trying to send it packing too.
    Nice photos though.

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