“It’s spring when teachers open the windows and let their papers blow off their desks.
It’s spring when there’s a fire drill and everybody drags mud back into the school.
It’s spring when the crankiest teacher in school skips down the street and suddenly jumps up and clicks his heels together.
It’s spring when the shy little bookworm does pull-ups on the office doorframe.
It’s spring when you can once again get a root beer float at A&W.”
So I wrote for my high school column in the Livingston Enterprise on March 15, 1968.
The wonder of spring has remained a constant all the 53 years since. The rebirth of flora and fauna after a long snowy winter here in Mazama can’t help but lift one’s spirits. The songbirds are back. The perennials are waking up as their winter blanket of snow recedes. The smell of a fresh spring rain is intoxicating.
Optimism seems to rise with the temperature, sunshine, and longer days. Cloudbird Bonin from Ruby Slippers Farms in Carlton sent out word that her first round of seedlings are emerging. Soon — perhaps as early as late April — she will be bringing her fresh organic produce to Mazama weekly. Newcomers who want to purchase or learn more about the Grab ’n’ Go Veggie Boxes can contact Cloudbird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Strader of Strader’s Soupery is also excited for spring. She will be selling soups and other meals in a jar this spring and summer through a new online local food cooperative, The Farm Shed. Currently Casey Smith of BCS Livestock is providing local food offerings on its website with weekly pick up at the Winthrop Barn or at the BCS farm. They plan to expand this spring to include produce and local foods — including Jane’s yummy soups. An email to Casey at email@example.com will add you to the email list.
Avid hiker and wildflower aficionado Eric Burr from Lost River reported spotting a few Buttercups above Fun Rocks and Spring Beauties and Yellow Bells up Spokane Gulch. Ever seeking the photo opportunity, I asked my experienced hiker friend if she would go with me to Sagebrush Viewpoint in order to see the flowers for myself. Traipsing along behind her, it was thrilling to see all the happy little flowers bedecking the trail. We spotted what for sure was the very first Arrowleaf Balsamroot in bloom tucked up against a warm rock wall.
Spring hikers seem to be a cheery group, each commenting on the lovely spring day for a hike. Some were on the trail for the first time like me. Others like Sam Naney with his dog Rocket (of my column a few weeks ago) were out for a regular workout. One trail runner, Jadine, was doing laps at her coach’s direction in preparation for an upcoming 50-mile trail run. She passed us going up and going down on her laps, still smiling.
Another Methow yearly ritual: When will the North Cascade Highway open? WSDOT posted pictures on Instagram of the tremendous amount of snow on the pass, especially in the avalanche chutes. When clearing begins, the process of moving all that snow takes about six weeks, they say.
Hope springs eternal!