A Fine First Day of Spring — Open Ground, Eagles, Ice Cream, and Cookies

Yesterday marked this year’s occurrence of the vernal equinox, one of two moments each year when the sun stands directly over the equator. On March 20, 2017, there were approximately 12 hours of daylight everywhere on earth. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the hours of daylight are increasing as we optimistically enter the spring season, while those in the southern hemisphere see their days shortening into the melancholy of fall.

We had a beautiful, sunny day here on Lake Superior, with the high temperature soaring to a mild 43 degrees Fahrenheit. I went for a walk in the back forty, following the old snowshoe trail where I could still see it, and snapped a few pictures.

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Just to the north of our property, the snow is nearly gone as you can see above. The walking was very easy in this part.

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As I went further north, deeper into the woods, the remaining snow was more prevalent and the walking got a little harder. Without snowshoes, my feet fell through the top crust in a few places where the snow was still fairly deep — maybe 6 or 8 inches — but there were also patches of bare ground where the sun shone through gaps in the trees.

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I gave the eagles’ nest a wide berth so as not to disturb our majestic friends, but with my binoculars I could see the head of one of the birds, presumably sitting on some eggs. If you have really good eyes, you can see it in the photo above. (If I had a real camera with a telephoto lens I could have gotten a better shot than this smartphone snap. You’ll just have to take my word for it.)

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When I finished my stroll around the snowshoe loop I took this shot from our front yard. With the former threat trees gone, our view of Lake Superior has been improved, but unfortunately so has our view of the highway.

Earlier in the day, we went into town and discovered that the Grand Marais Dairy Queen was celebrating Spring by giving away free cones. Not only that, but the proprietor was selling the last of his daughter’s Girl Scout cookies, so naturally we had to buy some.

All in all it was quite a fine first day of spring. I’m clinging to the memory as I look at the thermometer this morning (currently 28 degrees) and note that the forecast low for tonight is a chilly 9 degrees (or – 13 Celsius if I want to be really pessimistic). But this may be our final cold snap as spring overwhelms the dying winter. I’m looking forward to sunny days and golfing, just around the corner.

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