Amy Calder’s sister, Laura, has crocuses poking out of the ground Wednesday at her home in Waterville. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

The crocuses are blooming and the ice is out early on many lakes and ponds.

Get out the sun block and wide-brimmed hats.

Spring officially arrives Tuesday and with it, hope and a caution.

It’s time to start raking leaves and collecting sticks, but beware the ticks and the trees where browntail moth might be lurking.

Though our Maine winter wasn’t that tough this year in terms of big snow and ice storms, I think it’s safe to say many of us are glad it appears to be in the rear view mirror.

We’ve had enough of wars, floods, fires, poverty, homelessness and nasty politics, and while we can’t stop them from happening, we can at least offer ourselves a reprieve.


It’s important to take a breather, though I acknowledge it’s hard for me to turn away from the news. Like many, I want to know what’s happening in the world, including with the weather, however stressful it is to read, watch and contemplate.

How weird it is that here we are in mid-March and the weather in Maine is more like that of April where one day is sunny and the next, showery and wet.

Amy Calder’s sister, Laura, has crocuses poking out of the ground Wednesday at her home in Waterville. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

The snow is gone, what little we’ve had, and it doesn’t appear there are major storms in sight. Where are the Marches of the past where the wind was wild and the snow came down in heaps only to melt shortly thereafter?

I look at the black, soggy plot of land in the backyard where the vegetable garden will be, appearing for all the world like it is ready to till. I sit on the deck in the sun with the cats, surveying all that needs to be done — raking, weeding, snipping of bushes and branches, sweeping, painting of deck sills, washing porch windows.

But it is still March, not April or May. The early spring this year is our consolation prize, allowing us to get a jump on spring cleaning. By the time summer arrives, we can kick back and enjoy the ride.

Through a serendipitous set of circumstances, we were able to land an excellent painter who transformed our living room top to bottom, including ceiling and bookcases, in three days. With everything out of the room, I was able to meticulously clean the wood floor, dust our zillion books and polish every little item before returning it to its place.


I’m not saying there’s any upside to climate change, but if I had to identify one, early spring would be it.

In the back of my brain though, a voice is warning me not to celebrate too soon as April fast approaches. It is a stanza from Robert Frost’s poem “Two Tramps in Mud Time.”

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill./ You know how it is with an April day/ When the sun is out and the wind is still,/ You’re one month on in the middle of May./ But if you so much as dare to speak,/ A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,/ A wind comes off a frozen peak,/ And you’re two months back in the middle of March.”

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 35 years. Her columns appear here Saturdays. She is the author of the book, “Comfort is an Old Barn,” a collection of her curated columns, published in 2023 by Islandport Press. She may be reached at For previous Reporting Aside columns, go to

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