Eric Mayer

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Spring has arrived early this year, at least in the sense that we're no longer snowed in. The temperatures are another matter. Still, although a high around forty degrees might be ten degrees below average for the day, it still feels good after three months of winter, especially with brilliant sunlight sparkling in the bare branches of the trees and across the grass. There are few sights more glorious than pale beaten-down grass revealed by the receding winter snow.

This is the time we start rushing around doing all those chores we haven't been able to get to since the beginning of December. I hauled several bags of tins to the county recycling center. Since we stock up for the winter and eat out of tins when I can't get out to the store, there were a lot to recycle.

A big crow sat near the top of a pine beside the house and watched me chuck the recycling bags into the trunk of the Hyundai. The old English rhyme goes "one for sorrow, two for joy" so I hope he had a buddy lurking around, out of sight, if that counts.

On the road along the river, when I passed into the shadow of the mountain, I found myself driving back into winter. All the puddles were frozen solid and icicles hung in tiers from the cliffs. There are signs admonishing drivers to beware of falling rocks but nothing about falling icicles.

In a week or so I won't see ice outside again until next November. The only quantity of ice I'm likely to encounter is when we defrost our old refrigerator.

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