I know, I know. If I don't like it, why do I live here? I live here because the advantages (for us anyway) of living in No Man's Land (Or as some people like to say, "It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.") far, far outweigh living elsewhere. Now that I've said that, let me complain a bit.
We have virtually no spring in northern Minnesota. And yet every year we expect it, look for it, yearn for it, hope for it. Spring is the forgotten season here. Every year we go from dirty, muddy, cold, wet, frozen winter into summer. While we're looking the other way (probably scraping tracked in mud off the just washed floor), one day the temp hits 70 degrees and, lo and behold, summer has arrived. Forget about spring. It doesn't happen. Spring flowers bloom in June. Ice and snow can be found hiding in any shaded corner about the same time.
See, the thing is that the frost penetrates down so far into the ground over winter that any melting we do get during this time (which actually should be, but isn't, spring) can't soak into the ground . . . because of the still frigid, frozen soil. So what does the moisture do? It makes mud. Which holds puddles caused by melting snow or precipitation occasionally falling from the sky. These same puddles freeze each night to form booby traps for anyone (man or beast) traversing the ground. Frequently, that terrible phenomenon called black ice appears on the roads each morning. Black ice is a very inhospitable surface on which to drive. Just ask the two drivers that we heard of whose vehicles traveled an excessive distance into the woods after encountering black ice and subsequently leaving the pavement this morning.
This is the time of year when I look out at my wet and muddy, yet still frozen, garden and lament I'll never be able to work the soil until at least July. It's hard to remember that's not the reality. As happens every year, one day the temp will hit 70 degrees and summer will be here.
Perhaps I shouldn't say spring time is hard up here. It would be more accurate to say it just doesn't exist.
Still a Few Flowers in this Crunchy Summer
58 minutes ago