The Big Melt

We were really beginning to wonder if winter would ever leave us!  Admittedly, I enjoyed more chances to go snow shoeing this season… …there’s such great terrain behind the airport, and as you climb higher the views just get better and better.  I even happened to catch the afternoon jet taking off in front of Petersburg Mountain.On the other hand, the constant snow dumps and occasional warm-ish days resulted in 4-5″ of solid ice on the roads, and sidewalks were completely impassible.  The town is pretty good about spreading small gravel and grit on the ice for traction, and we were careful to wear our ice cleats most of the time.  Everyone looked like little old ladies, walking with tiny mincing steps, and we accidentally walked right by friends since we all had our heads down, watching where we put our feet.

But still… the snow is pretty, and the lengthening daylight has perked up people’s moods.  It’s nice to see the sun set closer to dinnertime, and I like the changing angle of the setting sun.I’ve been watching the birds in the harbor carefully since March is the time when some of our winter residents start to migrate farther north, and we begin to see some transients and summer residents start to arrive.  The long tailed ducks won’t be here much longer, and the males have been getting a little frisky.

I’ve been watching ravens tearing up sisal mats on the fishing boats, flying off with big clumps of material for their nests.  And this particular pair of surf scoters look like they’re in love – can you see the heart shape on the back of one’s head?Fortunately the temps have started to warm up – goodbye winter (we hope!), and now the snow and ice are melting pretty quickly.  I suspect we’ll see some of the big snow piles hanging around for a few weeks, but we can walk on bare pavement once again… bringing a mess home with all the little gravel bits that get stuck in our boot treads.  Spring means that it’s time to get working on the boat projects in earnest, and I got things rolling with some inside varnish work.Next up is a big job to pull new control cables for both engines, and then replacing all the sanitation hoses and valves.  Fun times!  But the days are getting a lot longer, we’re shedding layers of clothing and we’re hoping to see some things start to sprout soon.  The deer have been wandering all over town looking for things to eat – all the snow has been hard on them.

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