Monday, April 28, 2014

Welcome Spring! Can You Hear Us?

Spring has almost come to Central Pennsylvania. Despite Punxsutawney Phil and the calendar, it has decided to come late this year. . . and only every two days of the week. The other five days, good ol’ spring takes a vacation, often giving us median temperatures of 40 degrees with lots and lots of rain. But during those two days, when the temperatures tease us and rise to the dry 60s, the sights and sounds in our neighborhood reach resounding levels recognizable even to the deafest ears. From every corner of the neighborhood,  people scramble out like hibernating bears leaving their caves as they double time to try to squeeze a month’s worth of chores into 48 hours.

Outside, you can hear the roar and chug of the lawn mowers as everyone hurries to cut and groom the infant blades of grass to an even, precise height. Down the street, someone is pulling a weighted roller behind his tractor, stomping down the young growth instead. Across the street, Paul Bunyan has decided to raze two clumps of 30-year-old birch trees and his chain saw makes an intermittent, but ear-shattering call-to-duty noise.

On the lawn, the robins chirp, the wrens chatter, the song sparrows attempt to sing while far off the red-wing blackbirds stand guard in a high pine bough and complain about the confusion below. Somewhere someone starts a motorcycle. It harmonizes with a weed-eater—or is it a rototiller? Then the dogs join the ruckus. From the corner lot, a dog barks and his calls are returned by two other howling friends.

In the middle of the chaos, the tree trimmers arrive to hack at the 40-year-old ash, maple and flowering crab trees on our front lawn which have grown unruly and scraggly.  Have you ever heard the racket of a wood chipper and a chain saw together?

At least I know, when all the work if finished, when shadows grow long and night falls, peace and silence will reign again. And the only sounds you might be able to hear will be the merry soft songs of spring peepers in nearby wetlands.

Ahhh…welcome spring. Can you hear us?