The seagulls are back.
That squawking sound that had disappeared from the border area for almost five months returned earlier this month. And with the arrival on the calendar of the spring equinox, it clearly marks the arrival of spring.
The upper Rainy River has seen most of its ice disappear in the last few weeks, and the open water is creeping out into the lake.
The seagulls, congregating on the edge of the water, are making a raucous noise. One wonders whether their noisy discussion is for the ice to leave the lake quicker, so they might disperse across the vast acreage of Rainy Lake, or if it is really a case of too many birds gathering in too small a space.
But with the gulls’ arrival, also has come the dusty, dirty leftover of winter. Gritty sand has built up on the sidewalks, and my boulevard is half-covered with the grit of sand plowed off the road.
On Sunday, with the humidity seeming to be high, I was out in the yard beginning the spring clean-up. Snow had hidden almost two dozen plastic bags and many plastic beverage containers.
My corner seems to catch a lot of debris over the winter.
Along Front Street, the log trucks have discarded tons of bark. The culverts are running, draining the ditches of the community into the river.
The birch trees and maple trees already have their buds beginning to fatten up and within weeks they will be burst forth in springtime green.
As with every spring, my late leaf-shedding maple again filled the yard with leaves after the snow fell. The sodden, matted leaves will have to dry before the yard can be raked.
Spring becomes the season of cleaning up. Outside windows have to be washed, walkways swept, trees trimmed, lawns raked, gardens dug, and seedlings planted for transplanting near the end of May.
The extra hour of sunlight is welcomed to work through all the chores.
Walking through the hardware store Monday morning, I couldn’t help notice the seeds prominently on display. Last week in British Columbia, as I drove through Powell River neighbourhoods, homeowners already were planting flowers that have been available for transplanting since January.
There, the flowering crabs and ornamental cherry trees already were in bloom. The daffodils and crocus were displaying their dazzling yellows and purples.
All this we have yet to look forward to as the days lengthen, the ground heats up, and the ice retreats from the lakes and rivers.
Spring, with all its buildup of dirt and garbage, will transform into a beautiful season of hope and renewal.
The seagulls are back.