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Yes, spring.   Remember spring?   It's the season, which comes after the freezing/thawing & mud season.  Hard to believe that all this rock hard stuff in the dooryard will become a quagmire for cars & boots.  Shoes?   Only if they're carried out to the car to be put on beside a paved parking lot, which has the illusion of spring. 

Well, when parts of the yard dry out enough to be walked on, I will be out doing the fall raking, as our leaves got snowed in early & have been waiting for a spring revival/cleanup.  As one gets deeper into this project, there will still be ice under some of the shady spot layers.   The trick is to expose them, then return to that spot in a day or two [repeat process a few times].  Then, it happens------black fly season-----whatever outdoor projects have been started have to be stopped for a full month, or else, one must be encased in netting/fly dope/etc.  And those squishy roads have dried to the point that cars raise clouds of dust in places.  But no 'live sand' until summer.  What is live sand?   It's the sandy edge of a road where an unsuspecting driver can get mired down as surely as in mud season------sort of a quicksand effect. 

As for  black fly season, it starts with the non-biting merely annoying ones, then goes on to the more lethal.  Since we are mostly surrounded by wooded areas, some, plus mosquitos are ever-present all summer & beyond, although, one learns to stand in the sun-----always less active there than the shade-----& to embrace the spring breezes which blow them away for a moment or two.  Thus my reason for placing such high value on a screened porch, which becomes my lifeline to nature during the buggiest times of day.   Great place for tree & bird-watching, reading, napping, ironing,et. al.  I do not bring out TV or radio to this spot-----just the outdoor sounds are enough.  Traffic?   Well, sometimes a car or pickup passes-----& some days, the road grader-----but not enough to be annoying. 

But, oh, the fresh clean air here-----most of the time-----& clear water----everywhere!    And our trip to the small city on the coast will provide the illusion of  winter's demise, as there will be lower & lower banks of snow along the road-----until, hopefully, none.  The side streets there will feel a little wider, as well, from recent snow melt.   Heading home in the dark?   Well, who can tell what's out there?   Don't really have to look at it until we turn into our dirt road, where the headlights are again reflected inward by the high banks.   But, getting out of the car----that wonderful air-----& those brilliant stars, which, some evenings have accompanied us all the way home. 

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