Spring has sprung and the sap is running

This should come as no surprise to anyone, but spring is my favorite time of year.

I think it is for most of us because everything seems to be so fresh and clean after so many months of day after day of dull, gray ugliness.

The time change on the second Sunday of March each year is one of the best harbingers of spring. The need for daylight saving time, however, continues to puzzle me, as I am sure it does everyone else.

I’ve heard the arguments for and against for most of my six and a half decades. They’re never-ending, but occasionally, you hear someone say something about the time change that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The favorite weatherman in our household is a prime example of what not to say when talking about the time change.

Here’s a quote from him a day or two after DST went into effect early Sunday morning.

“The evenings will be getting longer,” he said.

That left me scratching my head. I couldn’t see any way the evenings could be getting any longer than they already are in the dead middle of winter when it gets dark at 5:30 p.m. That’s a good four to five hours before a normal person should be thinking of heading off to bed. Sometimes on those long, dark winter nights, I often find myself struggling to stay awake until even 8 p.m. If I fall asleep at that time, I then wake up at 2:30 a.m. and wonder why I can’t go back to sleep.

There’s one quote, however, about daylight saving time that does make some sense, at least in my book.

“Only a paleface (white man, white government) would believe you could cut a foot off the top of the blanket, sew it onto the bottom of the blanket and you’d be left with a longer blanket.”

There you go. Does DST add any more time to our lives?

It has often been attributed to an old Native American or an Indian chief, something I doubt contains a bit of truth. I find comfort, however, in it no matter who said it even if the saying came from a “bot.”

There are a couple of other sure signs that spring is right around the corner. One is the budding of flowers and trees in early to middle March. We’re past that now.

The second occurs even earlier in mid- to late February. It involves the birds that live here year-round getting a little chirpier and those that return each year to set up shop for the warm months before heading for cover when the cold returns in the fall.

This winter, I discovered a neat little app for my cellphone that tells me which birds are singing and conversing with each other in my backyard. Here’s a short list of the birds that apparently live in the general vicinity of my home.

According to the Merlin app from The Cornell Lab, those birds include the American robin, mourning dove, red-winged blackbird, northern cardinal, European starling, Carolina chickadee, American crow, white-breasted nuthatch, song sparrow, tufted titmouse, downy woodpecker, common grackle, house sparrow, house finch, northern mockingbird, dark-eyed junco, blue jay, northern flicker, brown-headed cowbird, eastern meadowlark, eastern bluebird, killdeer, sandhill crane, northern Bobwhite, Carolina wren, Carolina chickadee, eastern Phoebe, red-bellied woodpecker, American goldfinch and wild turkey.

Technology can be tough for many of us at times, but every once awhile, it brings us something that allows us to sit back and take a closer look at what’s going on in the great outdoors that surrounds us.

Spring also always reminds me of a skit my grandmother was part of back in the 1960s at church camp. Grandma, who was probably in her 60s at the time, was one of the cooks. The other cooks lined with their arms stretched out as trees, and she ran around them on the stage.

The punch line was “Spring has sprung and the sap is running.”

She was grinning throughout the whole thing and was laughing about it when I talked to her afterwards. Grandma taught me a lot about living, but the most important lesson is a simple one. If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

Aubrey Woods is editor of The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected] pe