Loose Ends: Just three seasons

Spring is just a figment of your imagination. The season begins in March in most places and here a month or two later. March, April, and May are the months it comes in much like the old proverb, “It comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” The problem is in the White River Valley it’s not a season, it’s a revolving door — it just keeps coming and going.
Snow flies here throughout the year, although it tends to stay within the general seasonal boundaries. Donning a weather-wise point of view, one gets used to stretching the definition of a season to fit the type of winter or spring that has arrived. Some of the community conversations include remembrances of springs past.
“Last year at this time, I had already mowed the lawn … twice!”
“The birds may be singing, but they are sure out of tune.”
The crocuses and daffodils have been peeking out beneath dollops of snow, the robins tiptoeing over and under melting piles of snow. The snowstorms are different than they were in mid-winter — heavy, wet, with the flakes melting almost as soon as they hit the ground. This combination of winter and spring precipitation gives it a whole different appearance.
Slush and snow are an integral part of spring, so one needs to keep an entirely different vocabulary on hand. Sprow is the white stuff and the melt-down produces a lot of snush. And then there is all that oozing mess below the surface, as the change of seasons means one thing — mud. Often mud season starts out on the ranches at the start of calving season. It is not pretty. As the days get longer, the weather gets warmer intermittently — raging blizzards in between.
You don’t need special clothes for the season, you just need layers of both seasons at the ready. More of the colorful, light, garments can be the bottom layer, but an outer garment that meets the requirement of sprow, snush, wind and rain are a must. The season preceding summer in these parts has an entire emotional component that has to be recognized. Everyone is ready for summer and they want everyone to cooperate with dressing for it, so it will arrive soon. The old winter gear looks so tired and worn it not only might bring bad luck weather, friends and neighbors seem to think one is sending a message to Mother Nature just by being prepared for the colder days.
“Why are you still wearing that old parka?”
“Guess we all know who still wants to go skiing or sledding.”
There are those among us who are the Peter Pan weather reporters.
Spying you on a walk downtown after pulling out the trusty down jacket, someone just can’t help themselves. They have to ask.
“What do you think you’re doing? Spring is here — you just gotta believe.”