Driving Toward Spring

By , February 1, 2011

Today (and/or tomorrow) is the ancient festival of Imbolc, the first day of spring by Celtic reckoning. As I reflected last year, this is the most elusive of the nascent seasons of the year in our part of the world.

Perhaps more so this year. As you read this, my sister-in-law, her two dogs, and I are leaving Fairbanks, driving south to Haines. I’m not sure what kind of weather we’ll have, but I’m guessing it’s going to feel pretty wintry up there.

In Haines, at the end of January we had a short stint of weather in which spring seemed entirely likely. The days were fresh and unseasonably warm. Instead of thinking of feeding the fire, I thought of fishing. We knew it’d be short-lived, but it was a pleasant respite while it lasted.

Whatever the weather, as we come south over the next day or so, we will, inevitably feel as if spring has arrived. Haines at its coldest rarely comes close to interior winter weather, so I feel confident things will improve, or at least feel more seasonal, as we move south.

February is admittedly not my favorite month. It is usually quite wintry. I’ve heard two conflicting predictions for the remainder of the commonly-reckoned winter: one source, The Farmer’s Almanac, says we’ll have more snow than usual; the other, a neighbor who so far has not been wrong in his predictions, says it’ll be drier and colder than usual. Of the two, I guess I’d rather have snow, as that means more water later in the year. The second forecast indicates we might have another dry summer, which we’d prefer to avoid.

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