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From Winter to Spring: The Changing Seasons

A landscape image by Perrin Adams
The days started getting longer, little by little

As the frost begins to relinquish its icy hold on the wilderness, my journey through the transforming seasons unveils the subtle, often unnoticed changes that weave winter into spring. Traveling year-round in a trusty truck and camping on crown land offers an intimate view of nature's transition. I consider it a tale of confusion, unpredictability, and longing.

The Unsettling Dance of In-Between Seasons

As winter reluctantly gives way to spring, the landscape enters a period of flux. It's a time of confusion—not knowing whether to don a thick parka or risk a lighter jacket. Mornings can be bitterly cold, only to give way to unexpectedly warm(ish) afternoons. This unpredictability makes preparing for the day's travel a bit of a chore some days.

The wind becomes a restless companion during these weeks. On some days, it howls through the trees with a ferocity that feels almost personal, tearing at tents or causing the truck to sway. On others, it's a gentle breeze, carrying the promise of warmer days ahead.

The weather seems to revel in its capriciousness. Clear skies can suddenly darken with ominous clouds, releasing torrents of rain or even a late-season wet-snow shower. More often than not there are weeks of cloudiness as the sun prepares its grand return.

An image of a tent by Perrin Adams
It was not uncommon for me to wake up to a little bit of snow in the morning

Nature's Subtle Reawakenings

During this transitional time, the wilderness undergoes a subtle reawakening. The bare trees, skeletal against the winter sky, begin to show hints of green at their tips. Buds appear, cautiously at first, then more boldly as they sense the changing season. 

The forest floor, once a monotone of white, starts to reveal patches of brown and green as the snow recedes and grasses poke through.

In the early mornings, the songs of birds become more frequent and varied, although still scarce. Most commonly it starts with the robins, as they sing at dawn and dusk. Then it's followed by the sandhill cranes, their haunting warble a welcoming sound. These melodies signal the return of migratory species, filling the air with a chorus that was absent during the long winter months.

Watching from the warmth of the truck, I see squirrels and other small creatures emerge from their winter dens, tentatively exploring their surroundings.

An image of moss by Perrin Adams
The sun became warmer and subtle stirrings of life started to take place

The Longing for Spring's Full Arrival

Amidst these changes lies a deep longing—for the full arrival of spring, for days spent basking in the sun without the need for layers of clothing, and for the simple pleasure of feeling the earth, thawed and warm, beneath your feet.

Yet, this anticipation is tempered by an awareness of what's to come. The warmth will bring with it the buzzing of insects, the swarming of bugs that were mercifully absent during the colder months.

This in-between time is one of patience and adjustment. It's about finding joy in the unpredictable beauty of nature’s shifts and learning to adapt to its whims. As I sit by a crackling campfire, watching the sun set behind still-bare trees, I'm reminded of the transient nature of these seasons.

An image of the Northen Lights by Perrin Adams
The northern lights lit up the sky in May

The Flourishing of Mid-Late Spring

As spring progresses, the landscape bursts into vibrant life. The warmer winds of mid-late spring sweep through the forests, bringing with them a surge of new growth. The forest floor, once dotted with cautious buds, now erupts with an abundance of foliage.

Fiddleheads unfurl their delicate fronds, and tender leaves break through the soil, eager to soak up the sun. It's also where you'll find Trilliums creating beautiful carpets in the woods.

The air is alive with the calls of red-winged blackbirds, their distinctive trill signaling the height of the season. Birds of prey circle high above, their keen eyes scanning the ground for movement while scavenging vultures glide effortlessly, ever in search of sustenance. The once-silent woods are now a symphony of activity.

I'm not the only one who enjoys the warm sun though! As the flowers bloom the beautiful sight is accompanied by the unmistakable buzz of bumblebees, busily moving from flower to flower. These industrious insects play a crucial role in pollinating the blooms that now adorn the landscape. 

However, the warmer weather also brings the inevitable arrival of biting insects. Mosquitoes and blackflies begin to emerge, their presence a reminder of the price to be paid for the beauty of spring.

You learn their schedules, what times they are active, and seek shelter. You pick up what temperatures they don't like and jump for joy when they are hunkered down for the evening. It adds a layer of strategy that no video game can ever provide. 

Final Thoughts

For those who travel and camp on crown land year-round like me, the passage from winter to spring offers a unique perspective on the rhythms of nature. It's a time of contrasts and surprises, of challenges and rewards. It is a time to be uncomfortable and yes, sometimes I do miss the comforts of a house. At that point, I will take a couple of days off at a motel or a friend's house and it always refreshes me.  

By embracing the unpredictability and appreciating the subtle transformations, you form a deeper connection with the land and its cycles. I now associate the seasons with criteria much different than when I spent my life in a city. I feel that the unpredictability also helps build character. No trial in the human world can compare to living outside at the mercy of the natural world.

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I was able to experience that magical light show with you! What a night I will never forget. The photos you managed to capture are breathtaking.


May 25
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very poetic and that northern lights photo is incredible!

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