Saturday, Anna and I trekked up Mt. Appetite in Auburn. The air felt warm, and we could hear the trickle of snow melting as soon as we stepped out of the car.
For this trip, I decided to bring Sophie, my boxer, along. Even though Anna and I are both capable women, and Maine is a relatively safe state, a bad man in the woods may keep on walking if he hears my boxer calling his name. Sophie is bad ass, and everyone knows it!
Since the day reminded us spring is here, we shed our snow shoes and adorned our spikes. (Nothing better than my friend Dave’s Stabilicers!– he invented them, doesn’t own them) I can’t say losing the snow shoes turned out to be a good idea. You see when the snow is melting at a fast pace, it becomes soft, and the weight of an adult woman easily punches through, sometimes at a depth past her knees. Fortunately for us, this only happened about every hundred steps or so… on our four-mile hike. And Anna only caught her boot toe good enough to propel her body forward so she nearly missed a face plant twice on this trip– Well done, Anna!
Within a few minutes of walking, we heard our first bird call. On our last hike, on top of Bradbury Mountain, we saw our first bird, a young bald eagle, but we had yet to hear the song of the forest. I don’t consider myself a bird person, they kind of freak me out when up close and personal, but from a distance… I love them, I love them so much. I can seriously see myself becoming a bird watcher, and not even in my old age, it may be in the near future. Michael, my husband, even lent me his monocular, a cherished Father’s Day gift from our youngest son.
Anna and I admitted we had no idea which songs belonged to which birds, but all the sounds are beautiful, especially our beloved “Mary” bird.
Anna and I grew up hearing about the “Mary bird.” Mom had a sister-like-friend from the time she could walk, and her name was Mary. When Mom went to meet her friend to play, she often heard the sound of a Black-capped Chickadee call her friend’s name, it sounded like Marrr–y. To this day, we all call the Chickadee the “Mary bird,” and it has always been a call associated with love even though Anna and I never met the actual Mary until we were well into adulthood.
The birds are proof that spring is in fact here, it’s just that winter has her claws in deep and is fighting to not be forgotten.
So I say, Winter, I acknowledge you. For the first time ever, thanks to winter-hiking, I will actually miss you. I will not forget you, and I will be happy to see your return next year. Now please go away!