As winter begins to loosen its grip on the land, the thaw has begun. The ground, previously as hard as concrete, unyielding and uncooperative, has softened. This marks a transitional period, during which Nature’s beauty must be quickly captured before it disappears.
Mud, thick and grasping, oozes over boots and invites unexpected acrobatics. Where the ice still lingers, it’s treacherously slippery and remorseless; I thought I heard a snicker when I flailed about on a slick patch, trying to keep upright. Perhaps it was merely my imagination, but it felt like a laugh was being had at my expense – and once I regained my footing and took a couple of deep breaths, I laughed at myself, too.
The ice won’t go without a fight, hiding in shady spots (like near the coop, where I encounter it daily) and hanging on for dear life. With temperatures approaching 60F today, though, it’s a futile effort: the ice must depart.
Even without the weather’s help, the puddles are on borrowed time: once the geese leave the coop, they head straight for the ice and break it up, so I took these photos before the rush out of the coop and the beeline for the puddles. Perhaps ephemera of this sort can only be fully appreciated when the viewer knows that it exists only for a brief moment in time…and now, seen, it lives forever in memory.