Spring definitely is in the air

Tomorrow will mark the beginning of the calendar spring. Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day and the wearing of green really marked the beginning of spring.
My mother was dressed in green at her Rainycrest home and she could feel the heat of the sun blazing through her south-facing window on Sunday afternoon. For her, that heat from the sun was a clear indicator that spring is on the way.
She couldn’t see the blue sky, or know what month we are in, but the heat of the sun told her that spring was arriving. And she was pleased that winter was coming to an end.
The upper Rainy River was open. The lower Rainy River will begin its slow march to Lake of the Woods, opening up first at the Manitou Rapids and the Long Sault rapids.
Each day for probably the next two weeks, a little more of the lower Rainy River will make itself available for open-water fishing.
Town crews, meanwhile, have been working almost around the clock to clear the snow and ice from storm sewer drains, eliminating the lakes of water found on local streets.
The constant dripping from roofs also clearly marks the melting season. My down spouts on the eavestroughs melted free and the run-off from my roofs no longer is flowing over frozen water.
For some, this spring melt has been a curse. The high banks of snow on roofs have caused ice dams to form and water has backed up under shingles, with gravity helping that roof melt find its unwelcomed way into homes.
Yes, it is spring. The International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board has begun the drawdown of both Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake in anticipation of potential flooding. Their models indicate both lakes might have higher-than-normal water levels in 2019.
The board now has the choice of modifying the rule curve to allow for potential droughts or floods. The board is hoping for a slow spring melt rather than a rapid melting of the snow across the watershed.
Vegetable and flower seeds packages, along with starter and potting soil, have been on display for several weeks in stores across the district. Lawn mowers, tillers, and barbecues now regularly appear in flyers that we distribute.
Store shelves are filling with barbecue tools, outdoor furniture accessories and gardening tools.
The outdoor season also is beckoning as the evenings stay lighter longer.
We await the arrival of robins and seagulls that marks a true new season. The squawking gulls are followed by loons and swans, often choosing to stay in the river until lakes and rivers further north break free of ice and begin flowing.
The long wait is coming to an end and we can come out of hibernation with a renewed spirit of life.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail