Outdoors blog: We've done it again
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
Winter: We're laughing now
We've made it.
We've got another Minnesota winter on the run.
I knew it Saturday, standing alongside the crisp path of the American Birkebeiner on the middle of Lake Hayward, the late February sun toasting my cheeks. It's been more than two months since the winter solstice in the black hole we call December. We've gained back two hours of daylight, and the sun means something again.
I knew it on Sunday, when I was running early in the day on the snow-packed trails of Hartley Park. When I crested the old rock knob with my yellow Lab, the sun and the sky were so overwhelming I had to lie down for a while on a body-sized slab of bare rock.
I knew it later Sunday morning on the way to the grocery store when I met an oncoming car. Two young men were in the front seats and each one of them had a long arm out the window, waving like crazy. I waved back. I knew what they were celebrating: the demise of winter, a Sunday too beautiful to remain inside.
Yes, it will snow again. Yes, it will be momentarily cold again. Yes, it could also snow in April and May.
But do not let that fool you. We've made it.
Pileated woodpeckers are drumming out territories on standing dead trees, downspouts and road signs. Barred and great horned owls are hoot-hooting up girlfriends. Wayward mittens are emerging from snowbanks single-handedly.
The south-facing snowbanks are shrinking, transforming themselves into puddles and rivulets, heading for the nearest storm grates and a quick ride to Lake Superior. As they recede, they grow icicles in rows, like transparent tusks. They look menacing, but do not fear. In tomorrow's midday sun, they'll be crying icy tears again, heartbroken that their season is on the run.
Daylight Saving Time is back in two weeks. The spring equinox is upon us a week later.
A sign along Woodland Avenue announces sign-ups for Little League baseball.
I can almost smell my old baseball glove.