What a GREAT spring we are having this winter!


Green grass beginning to show at the south side of a small tree in my front yard.


I woke up this morning, and as I let one of the cats outside I watched the 438 blue jays, and a lone cardinal scatter from the bird feeders, and took in a huge breath of fresh air.073

My lungs were full of cool damp air that had a strong wet, and earthy smell to it. A kind of “fortified” scent. The melting snow condensed into fog, and carried with it the smells of the rich soil that was poking out of great patches of melted areas, as well as various smells of pine, and last autumn’s decaying leaves.016

AH! MARCH! What a GREAT smelling month… Have you ever really given March a good whiff? Seriously, I mean it. Go outside on a warm morning, after a cool night, and breathe deeply through your nose.

Hold on a second…It’s February! We’re not supposed to have this kind of weather in February! But it’s here. Some of you may recall…I said we were likely going to have this sort of winter. I could tell because the deer hadn’t fed heavily on the apples, last fall. I have even seen a few apples still left over on the ground in south-facing clearings that hold apple trees.036

Some of you may be enjoying the mild winter…Many are not!  Some of us LOVE winter, and all the activities, and even some of the chores that come with it!  I even like running my snow blower!  There is just something about cutting a swath through deep white snow, and watching it come out the chute in a column that almost looks fluid!

Ice fishing got off to a late start, and could be coming to an early close!  Many ice fishing derbies are being postponed or canceled.  My shack is sitting high and dry on my front lawn, where it is likely to remain until next winter.  The kicker is, I have been aching to go ice fishing since LAST March!

People have spent a lot of money getting their snowmobiles ready to ride, and have paid good money to the state to register them, but the trails in many regions of the state are not usable.  Their machines sit idle, their owners looking out at them over a cup of coffee… dreaming of gliding over fresh powder!

I feel bad for the folks who rely on winter income from plowing, or selling heating oil and wood.  But I am also thankful I don’t hear my furnace running non stop all day!

Oh sure, we are in Maine, and it is only February, winter isn’t over by a long shot.  We are likely to have a couple of big storms yet, but this is the beginning of the end.

I just hope the mild winter isn’t an indicator of the summer ahead!  Personally, I would LOVE a cool damp summer…But a cool damp winter, to me anyway, translates into a hot muggy summer…and I for one am NOT looking forward to that!

If YOU like that sort of thing?  Just let me know!  I will come visit you this summer.  When it is 90F in the shade… If my whining and complaining don’t change your mind, seeing me in a Speedo CERTAINLY will!

Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.