We had a wonderfully snowy winter this year! As we move into spring the warm air and melting snow has brought everyone out of hibernation. The deer have been hanging out in the yard under the bird feeder as usual, and the spring birds have been singing in the sun-filled branches. It’s April, which means fishing season has officially opened and the die-hard fishermen and women are climbing over the snowbanks to get to the river. It’s always fun to break out the fly box and start seeing bare patches of ground in the spring and think about coming adventures this summer on the rivers and in the mountains.
The ice is out on Quimby Pond, the loons are back and the fish are biting! The black flies aren’t out yet and it’s warm enough to sit on the porch and it’s just about time to start the garden.
In our eagerness for fishing season we went out on opening day April 1st, but the snowbanks were still so high I had to crawl over them in my waders to get to the river! I held my rod high as I sunk up to my waist in soft snow, struggling to make it to the water. Thankfully the snowbanks are gone now and although the water is still a little high from all the rain this spring the fish are here waiting in the riffles! I expect it will only get better!
In a few weeks I’ll bring the canoe down to the pond and plant the garden, but in the mean-time it’s time to go back out fishing….
The ice on Quimby Pond was cracking and popping all day. When I walked outside the camp I could hear it calling to me in a low cracking tone and like a sailor drawn by the sounds of a siren I walked down to the edge of the pond. I stood on the safety of the solid ground listening and watching as the pond quivered and sang through the night until the cold seeped into my bones. Shivering and tempted to test the ice I stayed still, watching the pond roll and rumble at my feet. At last, when I was shivering as much as the ice was shaking, I walked back to camp ducking through the pine bows and weaving through the woods under the light of the moon.
Spring is slow to arrive in Rangeley, but the snow is in fact melting and the rivers are flowing again! A few fish are biting and the snowbanks that I have to climb over to stand in the rivers are quickly diminishing. Last week as I stood in the river, bundled up in layers beneath my waders, three osprey circled overhead fishing with me. None of us caught anything, but it was still good to be out on the water.
The birds are starting to come back and forage on the newly bare ground around camp. As I stood on the porch drinking my morning tea a flock of 150-200 dark eyed juncos flew into the yard and surrounded Red Quill on all sides! I stood on the porch amidst them as they flitted between the ground and tree branches feeding for about 7 minutes and then they all flew away. It was a whirlwind of feathers and chirping announcing the arrival of spring.