Monday, March 17, 2008

Looking for Spring

No school today. Our building didn't have heat. What rotten luck -- another rehearsal vanishes from the diminishing schedule.

Rather than stress about it, I decided to head off into the cold sunshine -- with faithful Oberon the huskador retriever at my side -- to see if I could find some signs of spring.

When I was a kid, I had my own spring ritual. There would come a day in March when the snows were receding and the sky looked blue enough with sun poking through NE Ohio clouds, that lured me out in search of harbingers. I had my own secret place, in the wilds of Granger township that I visited every year, a wooded dell beside Granger lake beyond the cow pasture with no houses in sight. There I looked for trillium, bloodroot, and jack in the pulpit.

That old cow pasture is now full of McMansions, while the lake is surrounded by condominiums, and I doubt my favorite wild flowers reside there these days. But the sky above Akron had that look today, so we went for a long walk along the west shoreline of Summit Lake. Above you can see the waterfowl skirting the ice, our one resident blue heron is a long-necked speck in the upper right corner. Our first sign of spring!

Last year's vegetation, like an old grass skirt, edged the lake, providing a camouflage for ugliness on view once we got to the shoreline itself. There the hideous sights revealed themselves -- plastics on parade:

All manner of plastic refuse bobbed against the shore: plastic cups, packaging, food containers, and bags proudly displaying their various brands of consumables from diapers to cheap white bread.

I duly photographed as many items as I could before my hands grew numb with the cold. No bit of shoreline was left unmarked by human consumerism. We found a traffic cone, a plastic garbage bin, milk jugs, a tricycle, and various tires:

It was all too depressing. We had to watch our step along the grassy edge of the lake, as many people walk their dogs there, but don't bother to pick up the poop and dispose of it properly. What would it take to have a couple of Doggie Dooleys installed along the lake, I wondered to myself? And maybe even some public trash cans would help motivate the humans who visit here to dispose of their trash in places other than the lake.

Upon arrival home, I looked about for some more positive signs of spring. Brushing aside a winter coat of dried leaves, I found the following green bits working their way toward spring.

March 21st cannot get here fast enough for me!

1 comment:

microdot said...

It's depressing to see what little there is of the natural landscape trashed by people who can't see what it could be.
Once it starts, it's hard to stop.

We have spring here but we are in for a week of vrai giboulees...the cycles of violent wind and rain and little hail that come in off the Atlantic.
There was true white out conditions as I took my dog, JJ for a hike.
We were in the forest on the right side of the valley so it wasn't so bad...
Then within minutes there was bright sunshine and black clouds receding in the east...
Nature knows it's spring, the trees all have little leaves and blossoms.