As Spring returns to the Catskills, life itself flows back into the land, much the same as the sap returns to the tree-trunk - in fits and starts - ebbing and flowing in that great seasonal tide. First, a reddish haze appears in the hardwoods, little dark-red bud-caps protecting new life. Once they fall off, red dots sprinkled on the ground, then a light-green haze gradually sweeps up the mountain valleys, buds bursting forth, green grasses jumping up to the new sun. Vernal rains wash away all but the memories of the winter past, leaving only vestigial grey-white piles hidden from the high angle of light under north-facing ledges, gradually leaching their precious liquid into the land, like


IT’S CRAZY how Winter overlaps with Spring, the seasons battling for supremacy. Yet the days are noticeably longer, more and more migrating birds have returned; moths have hatched and are mobbing street-lights; Woodfrogs have woken from their frozen winter state, ready to mate; numerous small plants, shrubs and trees have started to poke up their green shoots or branches to bud. Nature evidently runs on its own cycle. Just because we mark time with our silly calendars and make exhaustive notes of the "signs of spring", the earth is not constrained in any fashion. It is probably not concerned with us. That may deeply disturb many people who have been raised to think how powerful we are, that

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