The school year starts with the verdant warmth of late summer. The atmosphere buzzes with crickets and cicadas. We proceed quickly through the glory of autumn in north country. It's a season of dry, cool air scented with leaves. With any luck, winter brings snow followed by more snow. Air is sweet with smoke from village stoves and hearths. Very soon, the year will accellerate to conclusion with forsythia and daffodils followed by apple blossoms and lilac.
Notice I skipped over late March and early April. This is mud season. For a while, the scent of boiling maple sap offsets the reality of puddles, saturated lawns and slush-covered ponds, but the maple run is done. It's not bad... It's just not as nice as any other stretch. It can be cruel by teasing us with temperatures in the high 70s, as happened Monday afternoon.