Things have started to warm up in Rangeley. It was perfect spring skiing this past weekend. The sun was shinning and the temperatures were in the low 40’s, which felt heavenly compared to the -6 it was last month! The birds have started coming back too. I walked onto the sunny porch and stopped in its warmth, enjoying the sun streaming through the windows. It made me realize I haven’t felt warm on the porch in a while. It has been a place to put snowy boots and skis, grocery bags, and suitcases, before rushing in to stand by the wood stove. But this time I stopped and enjoyed the trapped heat and sunshine. It reminded me that summer is coming and days of leaning my fly rod against the porch after dusk to sit in the swinging chair to drink a beer and listen to the loons is not far off. It’s not quite time— there is still some great spring skiing to be had, but I am starting to dig through my closet for my waders and beef up my fly box for the spring hatch.
The bright red and orange sunset over the pond lured me out to the road and down to the frozen water. I headed through the snow to the pond and delighted in the quietness of the evening. Snowshoe Hare tracks crisscrossed with mine, and I inspected deer tracks that followed the edge of the pond. I followed a set of wandering fox tracks along the pond, and then leaned against a tree with my legs outstretched over the snow absorbing the quietness and melted into the landscape. I inhaled the smell of spring mixed with the lingering cold of winter. We are in the magical sweet spot of warm days, birds returning, and snow to play in. It doesn’t last long—just about the length of Sugaring Season, and it’s just as sweet.