What happened to Spring?

Jerry Apps
There’s a time for winter, and a time for spring. Occasionally both happen at the same time.

I listened to the Friday evening weather forecast on my weather radio. Hoping to hear about warmer temperatures and sunshine Saturday. Saturday was set as a workday at Roshara. Clean up around the buildings. Do some raking. Take the straw away from the septic system. Check the bluebird houses. Cut a few black locust fence posts. That sort of thing.

I couldn’t believe the forecast. I listened to it twice. “Saturday, snow, heavy at times. Up to three inches, more to the north. High wind warning. Up to 45 miles per hour.”

I checked at midnight. Not a sign of snow. Bare ground at Roshara. Only a few piles of tired and retreating snow remaining. Saturday still looked promising. Weather forecast really meant someplace other than the Town of Rose, Waushara County. I hoped.

Up at 5;30 A.M., My usual time to crawl out of bed. No snow. No rain. Weather report obviously wrong.

Six A.M. I’m eating breakfast. I glanced out the window. What? It’s snowing. Snowing hard, big wet flakes. Within a half hour, the ground is covered, and the wind is coming up. Alas, winter has returned. How can this be? It’s the end of March. Time for spring work.

As I write this in late morning on Saturday, the snow continues to fall. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s a beautiful snow. It clings to the tree branches, gathers on top of the birdhouses—and keeps me inside, sitting by my wood stove.

What am I learning from all this? First off, never trust old man winter. If he wants a late fling in early spring, so be it. Secondly, something I learned a long time ago from my father when a late snowstorm prevented spring work. I had asked, “What do we do about the snow?” His answer, “Let it snow.”

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: There’s a time for winter, and a time for spring. Occasionally both happen at the same time.

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life.