This morning I saw wild turkeys in an open pasture, the males all puffed up, displaying their copper fanned-out tails and putting on their mating show for the females. It was warm enough for sap to flow again at 8:00 this morning, and I almost believed the projected storm to be false. After all, on Wednesday afternoon—just two days ago—I saw a skein of geese fly, the dark torpedoes of their bodies standing out against the blue sky. Black-capped chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, mourning doves, red-winged black birds, crows and robins all flew about between trees, feeders, bushes and grass. Now it is raining and snowing at once. I hear droplets on the roof, but look out and see only heavy flakes falling, white static in the air. Where are the birds now?
Down here in the valley no snow has accumulated, and the soggy brown fields still dominate the scene while the white blankets that are left linger on the fringes where field turns to forest. South of me in Barre, where my parents live, an inch of snow grows on the ground. The meteorologists say the storm is moving north.
“April Fools,” says spring.
But only those with expectations can be fooled. The crocuses have popped up, but the buds on trees have not even begun to form. It is a concert, then, and we must listen not just to one voice, not just to the birds, but to the trees, the streams, the bears and snakes as well. Listen to the music. Look at the score. The last notes of the winter movement are stretching out to an end. We are only at the beginning of the springtime crescendo.