New England and her Many Seasons
To say that New England has four seasons, would be a gross under estimation. Of course the region experiences the standard Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn in all their charms and glories. But there are also multiple seasons in-between.
Unofficially, but just as significantly as the traditional Spring, there’s our world famous Maple Sugar Season, a few frantic sweet weeks of sap rising in the trees and boiling in the woods. Nipping hard at the heels at the end of Maple Sugar Season and pushing
hard up against Spring, is Mud Season, responsible for ‘Spring Breaks’ and ‘April Vacations’ in these parts. Mud Season lasts until the Spring we all await seems to finally break the frosty grip of winter, when bees and birds sing a perpetual chorus from dawn’s first light until dusk’s last rays. Spring now heralds in Fishing Season
when the ice is off the lakes and out of the rivers.
Then there’s Planting Season, signifying the end of the traditional school year; that narrow window when cool clear damp days slip into warm, moist, tree blossom-filled moments, holding the promise of Summer’s scorching heat. When Summer comes, it is Growing Season for all the gardens, whether they be small patches in back yards or the acres of green corn that sway in summer’s welcome breezes as cicadas buzz in the distance. It is Summer Vacation and Picnic Season. As days lengthen, Boating Season prevails and cars and trucks drive by with metal trailers rattling behind, heading for water like lemmings!
Harvest Season signals the end of the always too short summer, when days seem abruptly shorter and nights turn nippy. An urgency fills the air as crops are assessed and rescued from the potential of night time frosts. A season of celebration when plenty is stored to last the winter through. Then a sort of melancholy sets in as a season of waiting arrives. Children return to school, struggling to keep feet bare all summer in stiff new shoes.
Leaves change to their annual brilliance during Foliage Season. The air is positively charged with the scent of cinnamon as leaves rustle across the slowly freezing earth below.
A sense of expectancy hovers as the branches turn bare and small clouds form in front of chilled faces. We experience the pre-holiday event known as Hunting Season. A hushed quietness seems to enshroud the earth. With no warning, a single lost snowflake drifts down from overhead, followed by others in moments.
Holiday Season ensues. Merriment and anticipation abound. Festive music and food appear at every turn. Finally, the long, quiet darkness of official Winter prevails. Sledding Season, as it is known to the locals, holds court until Mud Season exerts itself again, or Hard Sledding Season as it is also fondly referred to here.
Then it all begins again….
New England is defined by her many seasons and so much that is special here is a direct or indirect result of them. Our trees produce syrup in the Spring and blaze like torches in the Autumn because of our climate. Our cold coastal water grows the shellfish so many crave. The lazy Summer days make our numerous back roads irresistible to roam and Winter draws skiers like magnets to the mountains.
Embrace the seasons. New England is what she is because of them. Besides, you can’t change them so you may as well enjoy them !