Though spring has just begun, I can feel summer at my heels already.

The mosquitoes have been out for weeks. They seem to be a lively bunch this year, and big. I have no doubt they will hang around through November. Maybe December.

The fire ants too have started their yearly building projects. Little mounds of dirt are springing up everywhere, and it’s only a matter of time before I suffer the consequences of not watching where I am stepping.

And the warmth of the sun. Why does 75 degrees feel closer to 95? It’s only March and already I am dreading the heatwaves and the storms of humidity that are sure to befall the area in the months to come.

There’s still a cool breeze though, especially in the mornings and the evenings. If the weather could be as nice as spring mornings and evenings all the time that would be a pleasant thing.

Spring is such a beautiful time. The brown dead landscape turns to green, and wild flowers are sprinkled here and there. If I remember correctly, I have always liked spring.

But this year, I’m just not ready for it. I think it’s because winter was good to us this year, as far as our outside ramblings went. In winter there are no snakes to worry about, and not many bugs to speak of. We step where we like and never bother to wonder what might be lurking in tall grass or deep puddles. We can rest in the grass with no thoughts of what might decide to hitch a ride and give us a good itch later. I picked a tick off the boy’s shirt this week.

In the last two weeks I have found much serenity in taking little nature walks at my parents’ house. I wish I had just a little more time, just a few more frosty mornings. I’d like to count a few more coyote tracks. I’d like to spend just a few more minutes watching the clear spring water rush out of the mountain side.

Maybe we will have another cold snap. Dogwood winter? Blackberry winter?

Or maybe it will stay warm, and I will just have to wait for this year’s real winter.

On Monday I saw a beaver swimming across the pond. It disappeared in the water. I was alone and took a moment to wish that the boy had been with me. He’s been very interested in beaver damns lately.

I walked around the little pond. The sun was getting warmer, but I wanted so badly to get to my favorite spot, which is a little waterfall. Anyway, as I said I walked around the pond. I heard noises here and there. Things skittering from the bank and splashing into the water. I saw little fish and big fish treading water.

It was a beautiful day. Surrounded by clear skies of blue and white and mountains that were filling out with green, I was feeling quite poetic about it.

And then I saw gray snake slither down into the water.

I just turned around, hung my head and started walking home.

Mosquitoes, water snakes, ticks, fire ants and humidity — mood killers.

I wish a cool spring could keep them at bay a little longer.

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