Category : Nature
Date : March 27, 2013
As the snow unthaws and the swamps come alive, a harbinger of spring arrives. Skunk cabbage. The puce shoots jut from the ground.
Before the weather channel, homesteaders must have used signs to know when to trim the apple trees, when to clear away the leaves from the garden beds, when to look for the bears. Indeed, on my morning walk, I discovered the prongs of the skunk cabbage in the swamps and late last night, I heard a black bear slurping birdseed from the feeder.
[…] The weather is a constant. A grounding for each woman–Martha, Abigail and Margaret–began by noting the climatic conditions. Likewise, for the past six years, I have opened my ledger, every morning, and recorded the temperature. Often, I will note events of the day—the coming of mud season, the planting of onions, the harvesting of the garlick crop, the starting of the wood furnace, and, happily, the day the first puce points of the skunk cabbage open in the bogs: the harbingers of spring. […]