Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bears, milkshakes, and iced tea

Three sure signs it's spring. It's spring! It's nearly spring, at least. I first started writing this entry a couple of weeks ago, and the signs are just growing stronger, tonight's predicted low of 16 (!!!) not withstanding.

1) The bears are back. That's a sure sign of spring. A couple of weeks ago, Dave saw a mama and two yearlings, not quite cubs, but not full grown, either. Apparently they mate every two years. They were across the stream --- our house is built on mud, by the way, and would not have been built 10 years later, when the wetlands laws were enacted -- just strolling and snacking. Our neighbor gave us a call too, to make sure we'd seen them.

We've seen them several times since, always the mama and her two cubs, always traipsing that stream, usually in the beginning or end of the day. Last night was dusk. One time I was driving Lily to school and she'd forgotten something, and while she was in the house searching for what turned out to be in her backpack, I saw the bears strolling by. "Look!" I hissed as she came out of the house. "Bears! Get in the car, now!"

They don't scare me, and these are all tagged and sort of our local bears, but I don't want to mess with them. They're more afraid of you than you are of them, the wildlife experts tell us, but two things you don't want to mess with: a bear with her cubs, and two bears mating.

Oh, and among our early spring chores -- put away the snowblower, get out the rakes -- taking down the bird feeders is at the top of the list.

2) Iced tea. I ordered an iced tea last week! Wow! It was warm and springy out and the iced tea tasted great all the way down.

3) Lily got a milk shake. Now, this is not a sign of spring for her. She will have a milkshake any time of the year. But this felt like a special occasion, the bears back, me with my iced tea, so she got a milkshake. It was gone in about 30 seconds.

I have a collection of spring songs, free to anyone reading who asks me for it.

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