Signs out there that spring is coming
I’ve seen a few signs of spring this past week. The daffodils have flowers forming, the first leaves of the daylilies are starting to poke up through the layer of mulch in the flower bed and leaf buds are appearing on the tips of the hydrangea branches.
A few days ago, I noticed two crocus flowers blooming in my neighbor’s yard. The next day, two more vibrant purple flowers joined the original duo.
I like to keep a close eye on the birds in our backyard, and a pair of mourning doves are regular visitors to the ground beneath our feeder. Almost every time I head out the back door, I hear the frantic flutter of wings and the “coooo” sound the male makes as the pair flies off into the trees. But lately there’s only been one mourning dove out there during the day.
These birds usually start nesting in our area in March, but I’m hoping the weather just inspired this pair to get started a little earlier and one is on egg duty while the other is eating.
We’ve had the windows open the past couple of days and have enjoyed the air at night and the daytime breezes. Even the cherry blossoms in the Tidal Basin are heeding nature’s call to an early spring and are slated to bloom before the average peak bloom date of April 4.
But the best sign of all was the news I heard when I stopped by the Tackle Box in Lexington Park to renew my fishing license and get a trout stamp: Yellow perch are show- ing up at Waysons Corner and Allens Fresh.
February isn’t usually the favorite fishing month in Southern Maryland. Every year we have some brave souls that venture out into the cold when the yellow perch start running. But it’s no hardship to go fishing this year, as when the sun is shining you don’t even need a jacket to enjoy being outside.
A new fishing season is upon us. If you haven’t yet gotten your tackle and rods in order and procured your fishing license, you are going to be caught flatfooted because, as the sign on the side of the Tackle Box says, “Here ‘tis.”
Last weekend I spent a good bit of time with my older kids on the back deck getting our rods ready for the next round of spring trout stocking for our region’s lakes and ponds.
My oldest daughter got a Swiss army knife for Christmas and she carries it everywhere with her in her back pocket (when she’s not at school, of course). It has over 30 tools and I reckon she’s used them all a couple of times, whether it was the right tool for the job or not.
After we cleaned out and organized the tackle boxes, she picked out what lure she wanted to use for our first trip out to one of the local ponds. Most of the time she uses just a simple bobber combo, but after going to a few fishing shows recently, we’ve acquired quite an arsenal of lures.
OUTDOORS Jamie Drake jamiedrakeoutdoors @outlook.com