Look Out − Here Comes Spring!*
It's been a long rugged winter in Bourne, several snowstorms, huge snow banks, often icy and sloppy roads, and frigid temperatures. In January and February, even March, surges of arctic air developed a nasty habit of driving southeastward along Routes 495 and 6 and settling into town for an extended visit. But now, the sun is rising earlier and higher each day and winter's days are numbered (we hope).
That's the good news. The bad news is that spring comes next. Yes, spring, the seasons' naughty child. The season that's usually late when called, and once here delights in teasing and disappointing. What is it about spring, anyway?
Early spring's misbehavior is a reaction to the trauma accompanying its birth. At the end of March there can be ice, snow and frozen ground all over the place, and it all needs to be thawed before milder air masses can really take hold. The first weeks of spring, then, are devoted to a form of house cleaning, as winter's frozen legacy is swept away. In the frenzy of clean-up, our weather often turns into a pitched battle between the cold of weeks past and the warmth of weeks to come. And that's part of spring's problem; after all, no one likes spring cleaning.
There's more. During the course of each winter, the Cape's surrounding waters get colder and colder, and it takes incredible amounts of energy to warm the ocean back up again come spring. Until the ocean recovers from its hypothermia, spring along the coast remains moody and unpredictable. The various villages of Bourne, lying downwind of Buzzards Bay, all suffer in a major way from springtime ocean hypothermia. Think about this. In April southern New England often enjoys a shirtsleeves day in the 80s, while on our shoreline temperatures can hover in the 40s and 50s, thanks to the chilling effect of Buzzards Bay.
But as spring matures from adolescence to adulthood, things do settle down. Springs's tantrums end, mood swings diminish, personality brightens. Buzzards Bay waters warm, leaves leaf, grass greens, sailors sail, Mayflowers flower. And once again, we find ourselves declaring, with complete conviction and total amnesia, "Spring! Spring! is my favorite season."
*This article is an edited version of a piece written for the BCT by Bill Danielson formerly of Pocasset, currently of Wiscasset, ME and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; it was published in the BCT's newsletter number 43 in the spring of 2009.
More Thanks Along the Trails
The BCT has assembled a great team of Trail Meisters who oversee the care and maintenance of our trails. And as you know there are many trails. Like the rest of us, the Trail Meisters cannot be in all places at all times and cannot know what has happened on all the trails. That's where many of you come in. Thanks go out to our trail and dog walkers who notify us of problems (broken branches; downed trees, etc.); pick up and dispose of trash; carry clippers to trim new growth; and provide support to the Trail Meisters.
As always, special thanks go to our Trail Meisters: Dick Boyden, Bill Dibella, Jay Fisher, George Gillis, Don Mears, Rick Rheinhardt, Carl Wirsen, Joe Hurley, and John Woodley. The BCT would not be the same without you!