Signs of Spring

Wednesday was the vernal equinox, the start of spring, complete with a super worm moon, which, I learned after consulting the internet, merely means that worms are more active now and are appearing in the soil! As someone who teaches environmental education and spends plenty of time flipping rocks and logs in search of worms and other creepy crawlies, I can assure you that the worms never went anywhere. For the dedicated, we could always find them.

Although I only briefly glimpsed the super worm moon on Wednesday, Tuesday my younger son and I were out for a walk and noticed how bright the all-but-full moon looked in the sky. Close enough for us.

Signs of Spring:

Thursday I was outside with my class in a driving rain. We listened to the drops splash into puddles and watched as a circular ripple formed at the point of impact and expanded to the puddle’s edge. If deep enough, there would even be a small geyser shooting up as the water drops plummeted below the surface. The rain played the large, glossy leaves of a magnolia tree like a xylophone. Each leaf reverberating from the force of the raindrop, issuing a distinctive pop of sound, different pitches for different-sized leaves.

The bulbs that I planted last fall are, much to my pleasant surprise, actually sprouting (A Reluctant Gardener Revealed and In My Own Voice #10: My Gardening Prowess Pays Off).

My neighbor is getting ready to welcome a new puppy into her household. [OK, so maybe this blog was partly a justification for prying adorable puppy pictures from my friend.]

When Pettigrew and I go for a walk, we see many dog walkers. The folks who stayed inside all winter are repopulating the streets.

In general, I love to see this activity, but something else has changed with the spring about which I have mixed emotions. Pettigrew, who, I thought, had been mellowing as he grew older, is experiencing a burst of puppy-like energy. In one recent encounter with the mail carrier I was tugged along for four or five steps before I was able to arrest his forward lunge.

He’s eyeing these unfamiliar dogs with hostility. Jumping and yapping, virtually proclaiming his desire to “let me at em.” These usurpers of his favorite walking routes.

Clearly I had been deluding myself in thinking that 1) all that training I had tried to instill in him had finally sunk in (I admit this was a somewhat optimistic perspective) or 2) the more likely outcome that with age came wisdom, or at least a mellowing of his approach to life.

Despite the necessity to pull out all of my reactive dog tricks, I can’t help but welcome back this dog who is feeling the sap rising and is greeting life with such vigor.



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