Sprung?

 I’ve long been of the belief that as delightful as three of the four seasons in Buffalo Niagara are, the last one is usually just annoying. It might surprise you to learn that the one I don’t like is not winter, but rather, spring. I stand by this! Spring in these parts is not a welcome return to warmth, but rather it is generally a two-month affair of temperatures remaining stubbornly in the mid-to-upper 40s. Spring in Buffalo Niagara is usually a pretty gray affair, as the clouds maintain their stranglehold over the sun until mid-May at the earliest. It takes forever for trees and bushes and everything else to come back to life, to the point that green isn’t the dominant color here until Memorial Day at the earliest. The snowpiles in parking lots and at the ends of streets endure, in their dirty grayness, and it seems like mud is everywhere.

And yes, it usually snows in April around here. Last year it even snowed not near Mothers Day, but actually on Mothers Day.

But we do once in a while get to enjoy a day like today in springtime around here, a day when it is warm and sunny out, when we get to open windows and switch out the stuffy indoor air for fresh outdoor air, when we can walk the dogs multiple times, and when the sun shines from sunrise to sunset.

Geology and astronomy may be in agreement that it is spring here, but it’s just not. Not yet. Not in a way that feels real.

That’s not stopping nature from looking like it’s embracing the early wake-up call….

Larger view of the stream at Chestnut Ridge

That’s Chestnut Ridge park, just this morning. It’s one of my favorite places, where The Dee-oh-gee and I visit often on our weekly Sunday morning nature walks. That particular stream is a combination of two streams that tumble from the upper reaches of the park; this is at the park’s northern, and lower, end. Here it tumbles down through what’s left of a deep ravine, and under a steel-deck bridge before it flows on, winding its way toward Lake Erie before it finally empties into Eighteen Mile Creek, which then flows on to Lake Erie. A lot of that water will eventually flow out of Lake Erie, down the Niagara River, over the Falls, and out to Lake Ontario…and on and on, eventually to the sea.

There’s still snow up there (Chestnut Ridge is in what the weather people call “the upper elevations” when they are threatening snowfall for some of us), and as of now there hasn’t been enough warmth to cause the grass to really start greening or for dormant trees and bushes to start budding. But it’s tempting to look for those things.

Spring in Buffalo Niagara. It’s here…kind of.

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