"You have willingly and maliciously deceived millions of people with your vicious lies about the proper return of spring. Across the land, people are screaming for your blood. While you went and predicted an early spring in February, that early spring never came. Instead we were getting blizzards, ice storms, cold fronts. Does that sound like spring weather to you? Well, you've given us no choice, Phil. For your reckless disregard for the feelings of millions of people who wanted winter to end, and despite the wishes of a few lunatics out there who for some reason love winter, I find you guilty of fraud, and hereby sentence you to ten thousand years imprisonment on Skull Island until you learn your manners. No, that is not excessive, Phil. You should have tried to get a judge who didn't despise the word snow." ~ transcripts of verdict and sentencing of Punxsutawney Phil by Justice Clayton "Hangman" Maddox, June 2013
My maternal grandparents had a farm for years before retirement, in a snowbelt area of southern Ontario. The nearest sizeable town was a place called Hanover, and the farm was part of a large area that in winter gets hammered by snow, influenced by Lake Huron and the high winds spreading out across the various tracts of farmland. My mother has said that if you went up there for a visit in the winter, you packed enough clothes for three or four days in case you got stuck. When my grandparents first started living there, the farmhouse was surrounded by rows of evergreen trees, which shaded the place. My father suggested cutting some of them down to let in some light. My grandfather had decided to wait and see, thinking they were there for a good reason.
And indeed they were, as they found out that first winter. The trees provided a solid wall of insulation for the house against the winds, blocking the snowdrifts that built up across the fields. Without those trees, things might have gotten a tad bit cold, even in a well heated farmhouse. While they were living there, one year towards the end of his life, my grandmother's father came over for a visit in the winter. He was used to winter ending in late February in the Netherlands-at least what passed for winter in the mild lowlands of the Dutch. One day in early April, with a snowstorm howling outside, my great-grandfather shook his head and asked, "Does the winter ever end in this country?"
We're now officially a week into spring, though it doesn't quite feel like it. We've had snow on both sides of the border, a nice trick by Mother Nature to tweak our noses (it's quite welcome to me personally, but I'm silly that way). Here in the Ottawa Valley, the first day of spring had snow, and we're still mostly buried by it. We've had blizzard conditions in the Canadian Prairies, where a passenger train was stopped for a day because of snowdrifts a few days ago, and where conditions in one area caused a pileup traffic nightmare. In the United States, the last storm resulted in snow warnings in fifteen states across a wide area. Even overseas, Great Britain is still getting snow; I've seen the pictures on a couple of British blogs I follow. And in a gag lawsuit, the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is being sued by an attorney for his incorrect prognostications of an early spring.
Many people find themselves wondering where spring is. I'd like to say that spring and summer have been scared off by Old Man Winter, who's decided he'll just stick around the neighbourhood for a good long while. After all, there's nothing wrong with some nice, lovely snow. It's good for you. Cold air in the lungs, the crunch of fresh powder under your boots. Lovely. Lovely!
Yes, I know I'm in the minority.
And so I give you a collection of pics for your enjoyment. Herein you'll find editorial cartoons and assorted tomfoolery with spring, winter, and this peculiar inability of the spring to manifest itself. Oh, rest assured, spring will be here. Eventually. Someday. Maybe.
Assuming it didn't get stranded somewhere along the way in a snowdrift.