Who’s fooling who?

The birds must think it’s spring.

One of the rites of spring, an Easter egg hunt, held in our front yard March 31. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)
One of the rites of spring, an Easter egg hunt, held in our front yard March 31. (Photo by Cynthia Petersen)

For the past few days, I have lingered in bed each morning, listening to the beautiful chorus of the birds, trying to decipher their meaning.

“Good morning!” they might be saying. “It’s a bit chilly , but the calendar says that we’re supposed to be singing. Don’t you agree?”

The others reply, “Yes! We are all so happy that winter is over and we can finally get to the worms and lay our eggs!”

But is winter really over? Just because the calendar says so, I have my doubts.

Iowa didn’t really have a spring last year. We went from winter straight into summer, with March temperatures in the 80s.

This year, spring is off to a slow start.  Last week we had a couple of days in the 50s, but this morning, the  temperature is hovering somewhere in the 20s with the highs only promising to be in the 30s.

But when you live in Iowa, you just accept that Mother Nature does what she wants. The weather patterns can be a roller coaster and you can rant about it, become frustrated with the meteorologists, and even put your winter gear away, thinking it will make a difference. But it won’t  change Mother Nature’s agenda.

We can’t discount that it won’t snow, even in April.  According to one local meteorologist, snow has fallen in Iowa as late as May 11.

And I have seen it snow in April many times. I was celebrating my 10th birthday April 8, 1973, when the first few snowflakes began to fall in Cedar Rapids. It tuned into a blizzard that dumped nearly 15 inches of snow on the city. I couldn’t help but think, “What a great birthday present!”

According to a KWWL blog:

“A late season snowstorm brought heavy snow to Iowa, southeastern Minnesota, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Wind gusts were up to 70 mph blowing the snow into snow drifts as high as 16 feet. Snow totals were commonly reported in the 10-20″ range.

Dubuque: 19.2″
Waterloo: 9.7″ (this pushed Waterloo to the top of the list of Snowiest Aprils)
Cedar Rapids: 14.5″
Belle Plaine 20.2″

The heavy snow and strong wind closed some highways in Iowa.”

My brother and I jumped from the roof of the garage into snow drifts that were nearly as high. Most businesses and all the schools were closed and we walked to the gas station to buy milk, hoping it would be open when we got there.

And then on April 11, the sun came out and melted all the snow.

Spring will come in its own time. The chilly temperatures will give way to warmer days this week and then the birds won’t be so confused.

Little flowers have emerged through the leftover fall leaves and the robins are strutting around the yard like they own it.

We could still get a little snow. But what will it matter? Remember? Mother Nature does what she wants.

However, I’m also beginning to think she has a warped sense of humor.

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