April 15 is not normally an enjoyable day in the U.S. It’s the day tax forms must be filed, payments made if required, lines at the post office. This year, the date is Monday the 18th for some reason, but the oppressive feeling lingers.
Today, however, it’s a red letter day for me, as spring finally springs. I begin the morning walking in the park with both my iPhone and my Nikon AND not wearing a jacket, although I do have several layers. Green lines the edges of the path, now including grass as well as the odd plants. Buds decorate the bushes, not all of them, but enough to look new and beautiful. Red-winged blackbirds chatter endlessly, puffing up while talking, perched on the highest part of bushes and small trees. I hear a cardinal, stop, scan the trees. There he is in his scarlet coat, high above me, almost directly overhead. Perched next to him is his less showy mate. I crane my neck and my camera, get a few shots and enjoy just watching them for a time.
The river is empty of all but a few ducks. I take a seat on the steps used by those putting in canoes and kayaks. The sound of the rushing water soothes the annoyance that the broken glass on the steps provokes. If you’re going to be crass enough to drink beer in the park, for Pete’s sake, take your empty bottles out with you! A friend and I are planning a garbage collection day once it’s nice all the time. We’d better take a lot of bags.
On the way back, I’m passed by two park rangers in a pickup. A moment later, I spy a small snake, fortunately missed by their tires. He (she?) keeps its eyes on me, tiny forked tongue testing the air as I take a few shots with my phone. I veer off onto one of the small paths heading toward the river and into the woods. Once I get farther in , delicate wildflowers appear: white, pink, and purple. I sit quietly on a downed tree for a time, just watching and listening. A biker flies by on the path, not seeing me. I like the feeling of being invisible, surrounded by woods.
Back at the house, it’s warm enough to open windows and, when I walk to the post office to mail our tax returns, I’m in short sleeves and my lime green Keen sandals (and pants, of course.) The joyful feeling of finally saying hello to spring is almost indescribable. Almost.