It’s spring in the Black Hills. The trees are budding, the daffodils and dandelions are blooming, and some rhubarb stalks are almost big enough for at least a quick tart, if not for a whole pie. And on this mid-April morning they’re all shaking their heads under a covering of cold white stuff and wondering, “What the hell happened?”
Snow, of course. Nothing to be surprised about. Perfectly normal and seasonal weather. Yet somehow, it still manages to catch us by surprise every spring. As in the following overheard conversations:
One robin to another, as they huddle together under a tree branch: “That’s the last time we use that lousy discount travel agent! Next year, I swear, we’ll go online and check the weather all the way to Canada before we even think about leaving Texas.”
Yearling deer, ditched by their very pregnant mothers, pawing through a couple of inches of snow: “Mom told me, ‘You’ll be fine; there’s new green grass everywhere you look.’ She never said I’d have to dig for it.” “Yeah, and why didn’t they warn us about eating ice-cold tulips? I’m getting a brain freeze.”
Mr. Finch to Mrs. Finch: “Hah! Guess you can quit fussing now about my watching baseball instead of spring cleaning the birdhouse. I told you it was too early.”
The back end of an earthworm to the front end: “Dig a little faster! I’m freezing our behind off up here!”
An unambitious amateur gardener: “I knew it wasn’t time to clean out the flower beds yet. But don’t those dry stalks look pretty in the snow?”
It’s a perfect spring day for things like baking, making soup, or curling up with a good book. Or, if you happen to be a procrastinating taxpayer, for getting down to the cold, harsh realities of Form 1040.