Sure, April showers bring May flowers, but this year’s April seemed a bit too exuberant in the precipitation department. She merrily throttled us with too much fog, snow, and rain – sometimes all in one day – not to mention nights of high winds and residues of treacherous ice. That said, however, we have to admit that she did give us some good moments.
April’s fog could be a gentle veil, slowly changing our familiar surroundings into a mystical kingdom.
Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. April delivered so much snow that we began to hate the stuff. But, of course, the snow often was breath-taking on the way down and for a few hours thereafter.
In the end, it was the rising temperatures and — mostly — the rain that did in the snow. We had torrential rains and had them often. Small, mossy-banked streams in the dark woods became hilarious with their new power; large streams emptied into bays in a jailbreak of whitewater; wooded lowlands became swamps, and Red Squirrels hunkered down in the pouring rain and prayed for sunshine.
Our coves and harbors were additional targets of April’s moods. Sometimes, she serenely allowed those waters to remain calm and reflective; at other times, she unleashed her wind furies.
Of course, there’s more to April than her dramatic weather. The month is when we say goodbye to the Common eiders that winter in our bays and coves. It’s also usually the first month that we see Ospreys reopening their high summer condos and Canada Geese looking for their own warm weather real estate.
As far as our resident feathered neighbors, April is when our Wild Turkeys fall in love in their peculiar way: the Toms strut and the Hens judge them severely. The Hens are in control; they eagerly say yes to some self-inflated males and reject others with an “Are-You-Kidding-Me? look.
It was late in April that we got a quick glimpse of our first snake of the year, a Common Garter Snake on the move. By then, most of the White-Tailed Deer had turned in their heavy gray winter uniforms and were sporting the thinner red-brown summer garb.
Finally, April is the month of renewal. For some, it’s represented by the high holy day of Easter. For everyone, it can be a time to ponder and experience the joy of new life. Easter Eggs, the symbol of such new life, can bring joy even on a rainy day, as neighbor Judith Fuller’s wet road banner shows.
(All images above taken in Down East, Maine, in April of 2019)