Vernal Equinox and the Crow Moon

Yesterday was the vernal equinox, and spring is everywhere. You could see the signs of spring for the past few weeks, bubbling under the blankets of snow that melted within a day. But now, the force of spring is strong. The woods smell like crushed pine and moldering leaf litter–a revelation after months of the cold smell of ice. The vernal pools are living up to their name, hosting what sounds like thousands of peepers and wood frogs. Each pool seems to host one or the other–the loud, almost naive “peep” of the peepers and the enigmatic, sometimes spooky wood frogs who sound like a chorus of snapping rubber bands or a flock of cawing birds. The sounds of spring are a shock after the hushed silence of winter.

Two weeks ago, the crows descended and brought another loud sound of spring. The other day I found a dead crow on my hill, and I buried it under the maples and hemlocks. Later I found that this past March full moon was called the crow moon by northeastern Native Americans. It seemed poignant to have found this crow–a symbol of both the death of winter and the rebirth of spring.

In the garden, the garlic is up, along with the rhubarb. The purple dead nettle is flowering its pale purple flowers. I have planted the peas, and cooked off the maple sap. Despite the continued upheaval of the world, spring moves on.