Monday, March 11, 2013

Chasing the Green Man

We are "jonesing" for spring around here. A very snowy February has left lots of snow trying to melt, revealing squishy squelchy mud in the places the sun has won the melting battle.

The Willow and I took a walk yesterday.  I took the hearts off the mailbox post and put up the daffodils.  I considered putting up shamrocks, but I didn't have any green material, nor do I have much Irish in my blood.

We decided to take a walk along the stream. The sun was nice and warm, but the air was still cool in the 40's.  We were looking into the pool and marvelling at how clear the water was.  I still have a bit of gold fever, so my eyes were scanning the bottom for any shiny bits.

I saw a nice pendant sized quartz glittering about 8 feet from the edge.  I found a couple of long sticks, and tried to pick it up likeI was wielding  a giant pair a chopsticks.  As soon as the sticks would break the surface of the water, ripples would form breaking the clarity of the water, and I would pause trying to be still and let the water settle to find my target.

Three times I managed to get the little stone in between the sticks only to drop it as I tried to retrieve it.

We scanned the area for something to stand on. I considered taking off my boots and socks and rolling up my pantlegs  and wade in for it, but I knew that water was colder than I wanted to tread.

Willow found a driftwood stump that I placed in the water for a precarious foothold. I teetered, concentrating, straining to reach the bright stone. I watched the cuff of my sleeve break the water as my fingers scrabbled for the evasive rock.


I heard a big splash at the end of the pool, and I thought it was either a fish or The Willow hucking rocks, so I kept my balance and my focus and kept reaching...


My head jerked up, my balanced shifted, and I threw my feet in what I thought was the shallowest direction since I was about to pitch face first into the pool.

I splashed in and my momentum carried me another leap into what turned out to be the wrong direction.  I was up well over my knees, my boots and their thick felts immediately filled with spring melt water.

I quickly headed up the ridge, each boot weighing over eight pounds each with it's gallon of water, my feet and ankles burning and freezing.

I made it up to the rock wall and asked the Willow to run back to the house and get  my other boots. I pulled off the boots to a gush of water, and tried to shed my socks which had somehow shrunk and stuck to my feet.

By the time the Willow had come back with the other boots, I was finally barefoot, but my feet were too wet to put on the boots, so I walked along the top of the stone wall barefoot, skirting the patches of snow on the ground. When I ran out of wall, my feet were mostly dry so I put the dry boots on to cross the snow field on the lawn.

(yeah, I am not THAT tough)

Later that afternoon we set ten sugar maples taps, The Willow ceremoniously catching first drips on her tongue off each tap as it went in.  She doesn't care for the boiled down maple syrup, but she loooves the fresh sap.

Today I was reading about shamrocks and spring things like that, and I found out there is (used to be?) a spring tradition in the UK involving a parade and someone dressed as the Green Man. Which culminated in the Green Man being dunked in the stream to ensure plenty of rain for the growing crops.

The Green Man is said to rise with the sap in the spring .

Welcome Spring.

Dunked, barefoot, and tapped. :)