By Brandon Wikman
Time has its way with Mother Nature. The heaping piles of snow that decorate our driveways and cluster our sidewalks are slowly beginning to melt. Spring has always been my favorite season. It’s that warm gust of wind that splashes against us and the sunbeams of heat that boil our anticipation. I can honestly say that, finally, spring is in the air.
We have much to look forward to as we recover from another brutal winter. It’s not just the melting phase of winter that warms my feelings, but also the refreshing news that follows. Spring is a time for nature to bloom, animals to give birth and memories to be formed.
Last week, I spent some precious time with my family. Throughout the entire weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the peculiar sights of fish and game. As temperatures warmed and hovered above freezing, animals began heavily foraging. It was the first time all winter season that the snowy agriculture fields melted. For once, the frozen blanket of white was uncovered to the muddy earth. It’s nice to see the barren grounds of Wisconsin after 5 months of complete snow-suffocation.
I spotted several critters in my backyard browsing for hidden treats. The heavy-coated whitetail deer were totally fearless. It always seemed to me that deer become overly courageous during the off-season. I’ve noticed an interesting pattern of habits from the past few years watching them from my living room. A small herd of doe splashed their way across the yard, frolicking back-and-forth. I took pleasure in watching the enlightening scene continue. I knew that this was the only special period of time when deer would ever think about stepping foot into a hunter’s lawn.
It’s funny how spring seems to bring a new atmospheric culture of life. Several flocks of turkey made their way into the fields. Both hens and gobblers speckled across the open terrain, plucking their beaks into the corn-infested mud. A quick glance to the sky proved spring was nearly here. Hundreds of sand-hill cranes darted overhead, finally reaching their destination all the way from Florida. From the majestic cardinal to the furry fox, animals from across the thawing Wisconsin tundra were in attendance.
Several states open their fish and game seasons during the revival from our winter-woodland hibernation. The opening of turkey season is among my top spectacles. Watching those feathery birds claw into the dirt, scratching for scraps and beards dangling sparked a gobble inside me. It won’t be too long before the turkey-hunting crusade marches into the woods.
As time passes and winter fades, we are left with the fond memories of winter’s last thaw. The recollections of last Thanksgiving, Christmas and deer hunting season are captured. Winter has become a piece of our memory – a simple frozen fragment of time and collected into our hearts, to never be forgotten. We move forward with dazzled eyes and bright thoughts of the new season upon us. Welcome to the road to spring!