Friday, April 8

Note to Michele- Signs of Spring in Maine

Hi Michele,

It seems to finally be Spring in Maine for real- not just by the calendar. The maple trees have stopped running and we boiled down the last of the sap. I planted a patch of peas a week ago. Yesterday, I saw the first crocus blooming outside a shop. Last night I heard the first spring peepers peeping. These little frogs signal spring every April.

Another sign of spring- the fishermen are out at night catching Smelt as they swim up the brooks to spawn. Near brooks, trucks line the roads late at night. I remember this spring ritual when I was a child. My father made wire fishing baskets on long poles. I felt sorry for the poor fish, but my sister loved to eat plate after plate of smelt. In May and June, the Alewives will run and the same technique will be used to catch them. Most people don't eat Alewives, but they are food for other fish, and lobstermen use Alewives as bait in their traps.

We still have some patches of snow on my property, but that should be gone soon. It makes me think of a Robert Frost poem I love:

A Patch of Old Snow
by Robert Frost

There's a patch of old snow in a corner
That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I've forgotten--
If I ever read it.

Good news- I obtained a plot at a community garden so will be able to plant so much more this year. As you know, full sun is a problem on my property, so this will allow me to grow so much more. It's a good sized raised bed in full sun, so I'm overjoyed. Now I just have to get planning! What veggies do you think I should grow at the community garden?

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