It’s the birds that make the difference. Their constant calls ambush us as we step out the door. Overhead they soar, black and white check marks against a true blue sky. Looking straight up, my neck bent back until it’s nearly uncomfortable I watch geese gliding by, then a bird of prey float and swoop holding wings wide-wide, then brilliant white and grey seagulls dive and cross each others’ paths.
Spring has been long in coming. But the sun is strong and long and its arc already extends so far that we get sun in windows that I couldn’t have predicted. Even in the height of summer we will not get as much sun as we get now with the trees in their leafless transparency.
But the birds are the real proof of the season. On our walks Rhys swivels his head to point to robin after robin and then excitedly to the one house where bunches of purple crocuses have bloomed. The cardinal sits in our apple tree most mornings and the ratta-tat-tat of the spotted woodpeckers echos down the street.
Today the sound of the wind in the branches made me feel like I was on the beech already, and looking up at the trees I see buds. Spring is springing on us at last.
I just love being back in Maine where we have the full range of weather. The hot summer and the cold winter really play off of each other. Even in my first Maine summer in college I understood that what makes summer here so wonder-full is the winter. Once you make it through the long cold time you are truly grateful for the hot summer days and the cool sea. In fact I think this long winter has my daughter convinced that it will never be hot again.
But summer will come in all its glory and the birds are ready.
These blueberry muffins have been on high rotation around here.
9 oz. whole wheat flour
2 oz. corn meal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz. unsalted butter
1 C water or milk
2 oz. honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 C blueberries (frozen or fresh)
Mix flours, salt, and baking powder. Add eggs, melted butter, honey, vanilla and water. Whisk well. Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425F.
The batter will be stiff. That’s fine. Mix in the berries and scoop into greased muffin tins bake 10 minutes at 425 then reduce the heat to 375 and bake 7-9 minutes until browned. Take out of the pan and cool.