Field Notes: Third Week in March

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On Tuesday, a historic storm descended that unloaded almost two feet of snow in this area. You can’t imagine—the amount of snow is so significant, that all everyone says is so much snow with a glazed look in their eyes. Between the vernal equinox this coming Monday, and that pesky daylight-saving time last Sunday, this is shaping up to be quite a week. Daffodils had been starting to bloom and the red maples’ buds were beginning their flush of red, and there was a palpable worry about this very early spring that the whole country was experiencing. Then this crazy March snowstorm came! Which is very much March, don’t you agree? It snowed all day long, and the winds were treacherous. I stared out the window for large chunks of time, mesmerized by the white screen of it that blanked out the house across the way. Every so often I would see a bird dart by, and I would wonder what it was like to be out there in the storm.

The whole week revolved around the storm. The day before we prepared, and I went for a long walk knowing I would be immobilized for a few days. The day of we stayed in almost all day, aside from one or two quick forays. The day after it was still cold and a little mean out—walking in the knee-deep snow is no fun—but we did manage a bit of sledding. On Thursday, the sun finally broke out, school reopened, and it seemed like the world was getting back to normal. I went out in search of some cleared space to walk in, down to the Rondout section of Kingston, where Rondout Creek feeds into the Hudson. Filled with history, and slightly desolate despite efforts for it to be revitalized, I walked by the old buildings that used to house so much industry, the brick kilns, and passed over the old train tracks. Some sidewalks were cleared and some not. A red-tailed hawk flew by and landed in a dead tree by the river. I even passed a man who I regularly see on the trails I frequent, seemingly having the same idea as I by walking there. We nodded to each other quietly, as solitary walkers do, lost in their own reveries.

Today I remembered that the train tracks are usually plowed for service vehicles, so I took a walk along there. The snow was glittering, and big icy chunks from the plow and the passing trains formed walls alongside the cleared gravel. The sky so amazingly blue today, and the trees, heavy with buds, bending and swaying in the cold wind. The constant sound of dripping was everywhere, even though the temperatures are still so low. The birds seemed patient in the dense brush, waiting for the snow to melt, practicing their song for spring. Cardinals mostly, with their persistent and brash song, so bright against the white snow. I even saw a bluebird, alongside the junco and titmouse. Redwing blackbirds and their watery liquid trill lingered around the icy patches of wetlands. A hawk soared over and then slipped through the trees. Everyone is waiting for the snow to melt.

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5 thoughts on “Field Notes: Third Week in March”

  1. I’ve seen a couple of bluebirds around, too – always thrills me. Plenty of chickadees and cardinals. No robins, yet, luckily for them.

    On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 1:35 PM, The Preserved Life wrote:

    > Julia Sforza posted: ” On Tuesday, a historic storm descended that > unloaded almost two feet of snow in this area. You can’t imagine—the amount > of snow is so significant, that all everyone says is so much snow with a > glazed look in their eyes. Between the vernal equinox this c” >

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