Welcome, Spring!

I’m welcoming spring by having foot surgery. Honestly, sitting still might feel good!

Spring cleaning, by Carol L. Douglas

The vernal equinox is here: Today, both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres get equal amounts of daylight. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the official start of spring.  Daylight hours will lengthen until the summer solstice on June 21.

Winter days are shorter the farther north you go, until somewhere around the Arctic circle they taper off altogether. Summer days are correspondingly longer. The difference between mid-coast Maine and New York City is about a half an hour of extra daylight. Long northern summer evenings are a palpable and beautiful phenomenon. (This, by the way, is why our Age of Sail workshop is scheduled for June 10-14. Captain John Foss figured that he would give my painters the longest possible days on the water.)
Rockport harbor in early spring, by Carol L. Douglas
But back to the equinox: I arrived home a little before 1 AM on Monday, to find sizable snowdrifts lining my driveway. My studio doors are buried; if you stop by this week, you’d better ring the house bell instead. And we’re not done yet; there’s plowable snow on the forecast for tomorrow. It’s 8° F. as I write this.
Still, there are signs of spring everywhere, for those who are observant. My windows are looking grubby under the harsh spring sun, motivating me to start cleaning. As we seesaw between cold, cold nights and above-freezing days, the trees are pumping sap. My son-in-law’s maples have been tapped for the better part of a month. The willows are coloring yellow; the red osier shines against the snow. Under the bright sun, the snow is subliming back into the atmosphere without melting.
Migrating geese, by Carol L. Douglas
As I drove through Montezuma Swamp on Sunday afternoon, Canada Geese were circling in great flocks, while other migratory birds rested on the water. (These are the virtuous migratory geese, as distinguished from their urban cousins, who’ve found they can make a year-round living on mowed lawns.)
It would be a great time to go out and paint. But I’m off to have a cheilectomyon my right foot this morning. If all goes well, I’ll have the left foot operated on before the painting season starts in earnest. This is maintenance work. Arthritis of the feet is a wear-and-tear problem.
Adirondack spring, by Carol L. Douglas
That means a few weeks off my feet. This is kind of boring, but it has to be done during the off-season. After traveling 3000 miles through fifteen states over the last two weeks, I’m kind of looking forward to sitting in one spot, watching the grass slowly emerge from the snow. I might even read a book.