Fool’s Spring

Temperatures have soared and most of the ice and snow have turned to mud this week. I walked the bike path at the lake after work yesterday and was pleased to see so many people out enjoying the sunshine.

Sadly, this is only February and I live in Ohio. Spring has not sprung. This, my friends, is what we cynics call Fool’s Spring.

The sunshine and balmy 45 degree temperatures are just Mother Nature’s way of charming and teasing us with one of her mood swings. Winter will be back so don’t put away those ice scrapers and Bernie mittens just yet.

Lucky for me, I like cold and snow!

Notes From The Field

I took my own advice yesterday and went for a hike. It was 32 degrees but sunny and the sky was a beautiful bright blue.

Turns out, lots of people had the same idea and I encountered more hikers than normal. This simultaneously makes me happy to see others engaging with nature and irritated that I have to put up with them.

But that’s ok. Sharing is good.

It was a perfect day to be out on my favorite trail at my favorite local state park.

There’s comfort in the familiar. Like this tree that is a sort of landmark on this trail.

Winter provides opportunity to see things you might not otherwise notice. Since the landscape is quite bare, you notice more the few pops of color.

You learn to appreciate the might and will of a tree and the roots it lays to survive.

It’s easier to appreciate the sun on your face on a cold, windy day than on a warm one. At one point I stopped in a patch of sunlight and stood for a long time just listening to the birds. There was a woodpecker high above and little birds chirping and hopping on the ground nearby.

In the last quarter mile, I encountered another solo hiker who wore an enormous grin. His hair was long and wild and he was easy to spot in a brightly colored jacket. Honestly, he looked kind of crazy bounding down the trail with that huge grin on his face.

I spent a few seconds considering whether he was a crazy serial killer (one of those with three names because the worst ones always have three names). But before I could reach for my pepper spray or nickname him Billy George Ray he said four wonderful words.

“This Day Is EPIC.”

And I couldn’t help but agree.

It was epic and I can’t wait to do it again. Hope yours was too.

Summer Has Arrived

Ohio weather quickly shifted from cool and rainy to downright hot and humid. That’s what we do here. About 349 days out of the year are uncomfortable for one reason or another – humidity, heat, rain, snow, sleet, high winds… and during the shoulder seasons you’ll sometimes experience all of this in a single week.

My next statement will likely win me some hate mail but since I NEVER complain about winter, I reserve the right to say this at least once.

Yesterday’s heat made me miss winter.

You can only take off so many clothes and, when it’s humid, the only place to find relief is in the air conditioning. You can’t even breath when it gets this humid. But when it’s cold you can still bundle up and go outside at almost any time of day. Plus, there’s nothing more purifying than a deep breath of fresh air on a chilly winter day.

Besides, isn’t it pretty?

So here begins my summer quarantine where all outdoor activities occur early and late and where the rest of the day is spent sprinting from one air conditioned oasis to another while trying not to have a heat stroke or sunburn along the way.

If you need me, I’ll be sipping cold ice water in the air conditioning and counting the days till fall. Whatever you’re doing today, enjoy the day but try to stay cool and safe.