In the years away in Seattle, I forgot one of the most stirring simple pleasures, the point where winter rots.
I remember it from earliest childhood. The planet tips toward the sun far enough to cause the fat lobe of arctic air to recede and temps rise from the teens to the low 40's. The air is filled with some hint of the south and the sounds of dripping snow melt from the eaves.
It is a cool time for bird noise too as there are calls from boreal and tundra species who consider this to be their version of Miami.
I have spent much of February obsessively checking NOAA infra red Satellite data watching the continent for signs of this movement while huddled against the cold.
Now it's here and the possibilities of a sleeping year can be examined with some ardor.