17 March, 2010

Amazing what a few days does

The March lamb is certainly looking upon us with favour lately. The last few photos I posted on Monday were from March 8th. By today, the 17th, the landscape looks completely different. While spring remains one of my favourite times of the year, it quite often falls into the depressingly drab category, colour-wise. Once the brilliant white snow starts to melt (or often, in our case, the muddy grey snow, coated in winter's roadside sanding efforts), all we're left with is frozen earth, chilly mud puddles, a multitude of ice and sad, dry, dead brown grass.

Or, well, dead, brown everything. It often takes a month-ish of freeze-thaw, teasing snowfalls, sleet and rain to freshen the air and wash away the snow mould. Only THEN does the world take on a fresher hue, and that mostly comes from refreshed air and the opening-up of rivers, lakes and ponds, as their masses of ice finally start to melt and yield landing spots to the geese who've started to arrive (according to my excited friends who've been lucky enough to see them). The first signs of green often come from planted crocuses and daffodils in peoples' front lawns, or the much more feral greening of the poplar and aspen bark as the trees begin to thaw, swell and photosynthesize in their trunks and stems before it's safe to push forth with new leaves. The scent of aspen and poplar sap, freely running, is, for me, a sure sign that spring is finally on its way. Birds can be confused, daffodils and crocuses aren't from here and don't understand the ways of our landscape and unrelenting weather, but the poplars and aspen actually know what's going on. The buds are starting to swell in the trees, and the first signs of trunk swelling are showing through in the more urban, sunny clumpings of aspen. They're whispering, but soon... soon spring may be upon us. ... or it'll snow and we'll be reminded that we can only safely sit outside at the end of April because, of course, this is Canada, and the 53rd parallel is not a tropical paradise. But one can dream!

Anyway, photos!
Building off of the last two from Monday's post, here is that same windbreak today:
Windbreak and field ten days later

Here's another of the empty field:
farm field with apartment building in the distance

The barn now has an enormous meltwater puddle:
The barn

(instead of how it looked last week)
U of A farm, barn

and even the trees are starting to get in on springtime...
Poplar branch in the blue
you can't see it, but those buds are swelling! (plus I couldn't resist posting a photo of that sky and the drifting, wispy clouds)

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