Monday, April 22, 2024

Spring is Upon Us

Tuesday, March 19 marked the first day of spring. While we have had a very spring-like winter season with long stretches of balmy (for the time of year) temperatures and little in the way of snowfall, when I awoke on Tuesday morning, the first day of spring, the ground was covered in a thin layer of snow that had fallen overnight, and the air was chilly.

Such is the nature of spring, when we can have some frigid, snowy days followed by double digits above zero, only to be followed by another round of chilly air and falling flakes of snow.

Fear not, however. Though early spring can be a mixed bag of weather, the warmer air is on the way, as are the spring flowers (some of them already budding) and the bright sunshine that we all love to see when the warmer months arrive.

The spring season means load restrictions on our bridges and copious amounts of sand and grit being tracked into our homes and workplaces, but that sand and grit will soon be gone, washed away by spring rains, or swept up by municipal crews, and before we know it the load restrictions will be lifted.

During my recent walks along the waterfront, I noticed that the water level in the bay seems to be lower than normal for this time of year, and I suspect that has to do with the lack of snow accumulation over the winter. After a typical winter, we are accustomed to seeing a big ole spring melt that causes the Bighead River to swell as the melt-water is carried out into the bay. It can be a dangerous time of year, when a large volume of melt-water along with large chunks of ice and tree branches and other debris make their way down river. But not this year, as there is no accumulation of snow to melt, no chunks of ice to carry out into the bay.

Spring in Ontario is also peak pothole season. The transition from cold to warm air reveals a number of new potholes each year, and municipal crews will be busy in the weeks to come patching the worst of the potholes. As hard as they might work, however, those roads crews are unlikely to keep pace with the numerous complaints that will be made on social media (are already being made in fact) that will fuel much debate, which will further fan the frustrations of many.

With the arrival of more spring-like weather, we can open our windows to allow fresh air to flow through our homes, and once those windows are thrown open, for many of us it is time for some spring cleaning. My grandfather once told me that spring was the season to get some work done so that the summer could be reserved for fun. So for the whole of my life, I have seen spring as a season to tackle projects, and to prepare for the fun summer months.

Whether you are doing some spring cleaning, or some maintenance on the car or the lawnmower, the warm sunshine combined with the sound of birds chirping can make it feel much less like work.

Springtime isn’t a busy time for just us humans. Our local wildlife becomes more active, bears are coming out of hibernation, the racoons are back in the neighbourhood, and a host of other creatures big and small are busy gathering food, building nests, or are on the move heading for their summer homes. If your springtime activities include some hikes in the woods, you should be aware that everything around you in those woods is coming to life, getting into their spring and summer routines, and you are a visitor on their turf, so be respectful, and be careful.

So, we have survived another winter, though this one was pretty easy to survive, and we have entered into the spring season, with many of us hoping for a fun-filled summer to come. A busy summer it will be in this municipality with the celebration of 150 years since the former Town of Meaford was established, cause for a number of events in June followed by Canada Day celebrations to kick off the month of July, as the summer air continues to warm, and the sun shines more often than not.

I hope that our readers find joy in the transition to spring, and that this season leads to a summer filled with fun, before we start planning for winter once again. Create some memories, have some adventures, and make the most of the spring and summer to come.


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