Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Signs of Spring and Endurance

Sunday my husband and I took a hike, our second this season, our second this week. We enjoy hiking, though he likes to keep moving, focusing on the exercise aspect, while I like to stop and observe nature. We started from a parking lot in Salt Fork State Park in Mideast Ohio, about 5 minutes from our cabin, and hiked about a mile along a bridle path, to a horse camp. We rested there, explored the camp which was interesting but deserted, and then headed back along the same path to our car.
Two significant things happened on our hikes. The first was that there was evidence of SPRING! Wild rose and another bush that I don't know the name of had little green leaves all over them in Salt Fork. On our previous hike, last Monday in the Hampton Hills Metropark in Summit County (back home), I had seen colt's foot, one of the earliest flowers to appear in the spring. So it is official- spring is arriving!  I always get cheered when I start seeing signs of spring.
The other significant occurrence also happened on both hikes. Usually, my husband has more energy and endurance than me. On both of these hikes, my husband was the first to say he was tired and needed a break. He keeps active when he can, but works long hours Tuesday through Friday. I work fewer hours, and have been going to the gym usually 4 days/week. It appears that it is paying off, in greater endurance.
Both the evidence of spring and the evidence of increased endurance motivate me to keep exercising and to keep hiking. One of my favorite activities at our cabin is hunting wildflowers. I have some wildflower identification books in which I mark each year when I find each species. It gives me incentive to traipse all over our property, almost 14 acres. I went out Monday looking for skunk cabbage, which should have been out before, but I could not find it three weeks ago when we were last there. I found it easily this time, maybe because I looked where I found it last year, instead of searching in another area. They say that whatever you are searching for will always be in the last place you look (that is because you stop looking for it when you find it).


  1. There are other ways to keep an eye out for spring. I live on an old, non-working (retired) farm of 72 acres and there is a 19 acre swamp at the back of the property. In the swamp (and marsh lands) there are these very little frogs, about the size of your thumb nail, called Peepers.
    They are very loud and they are the first things to come out when the weather warms up around here. The thing is that they let you know when spring is allmost here.
    They wake up, work there way up out of there winter sleeping grounds deep in the mud at the bottom, climb onto last years cat-tails and marsh grass that are still standing and just sing their little hearts out.
    They do this every year and every year they freeze over twice. Sorry but this snow that we got on Wedenseday was only the first freeze over.
    I got excited too when I saw some crocuses in my yard but always remeber that "Mother Nature" has her own ways and ideas that thimgs should and will happen. I have lived here since I was 5 years old and will be 50 years old next year (but if any one asks, I am still and will allways be 25 years old) and in all that time Mother Nature and the Peepers have never been wrong.
    Sorry if I burst your bubble.

  2. You didn't burst my bubble- I am realistic enough to know that just like we always have Indian summer, we also have the opposite- snow after spring starts. But the signs are there that spring will eventually move in for good. We don't have peepers around here, but on some of our hikes we hear them. There is one place where they are so loud we can't hear ourselves talk.
    As for age, I have some dyslexia- I am either 35 or 53, and I'm not telling which.

  3. It's me again, down here on this old farm. Just wanted to let you know that the "Peepers" were out again last night, April 3rd. I can see the end in sight for this winter.
    I realy want to pick Mullberries this year. Last year there was 2 feet of snow on the ground when we should have been picking berries.