Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 24 : Spring 2015 - Page 73

Spring To It! by Dwayne Young Do the woes of winter have you worn down? Are you yearning for the dog days of summer? Well, have no fear; the answer is right around the corner…SPRING!!! Spring, that time of year that brings March winds, April showers and May flowers. Often referred to as MUD SEASON, it also ushers in a new realm of activities for everyone. With warmer days and cold nights the sugar maples start to come to life and so do the gathers of sap, with their spiles and buckets or miles of tubing. There are several sugar houses in the southern Aroostook, northern Washington Counties region and dozens of families that “boil it down” for their own use. Many will welcome visitors to watch or even assist in the process. As the snow disappears and the stark barren landscape it covered is revealed, the cycle of growth begins. Trees begin to bud, crocuses are up and the birds return from their southern wintering grounds. Ice and snow melt brings flood waters to the area’s streams and rivers. As those spring overflows recede, the delicious Ostrich Fern, also known as the FIDDLEHEAD pokes its way through the leaf littered forest floor. Foragers head out to their secret spots to fill as many bags or buckets as they can in the short window of opportunity. The greens are eaten boiled, in salads, or preserved for the long winter months to come. Are you a “birder”? Even if you aren’t, the region offers some terrific chances to experience birding. Easy access to the forest is available on logging roads and ATV/ snowmobile trails. The edges of fields are alive with nesting avian species of all kinds. The plentiful lakes and other waterbodies offer a separate and unique variety of birds. Join an organized “bird walk” or just strike out on your own with a bird book in hand SPRING 2015 71