Longer days and strengthening sunshine evaporates the snow on the hillsides and warms the rocks along the lakeshore. The lake ice, built thick in layers from the winter weeks of bitter cold, separates from the shoreline more each day. Most of the ice anglers have put their sleds in the rafters and hung their pack baskets on a nail in the shed.
The birds get excited. Woodpeckers hammer away on a dead maple, hollowed and tuned by the years. Calm, cold bright early spring days see the starlings clamber in the eaves of my cabin for a place to build a nest. Bluebirds sing from a perch on the wires and the trout leave the lake and run the swollen brooks and streams, going through the motions they have gone through for millennia.
Huge schools of late March jumbo perch swim in my mind, under the ice of the big river bays to the north, still covered with a roof of ice two feet thick. I am torn between the seasons. Winter I am ambivalent to see go yet anxious for Spring to begin. Time flies, seasons change and I watch the children get bigger and my hair get whiter. As an angler, I gauge the seasons by the migrations of fish. Soon it will be time to go again through the rituals of Spring trout fishing.