Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Of Peeps and Peepers

This winter has seemed endless.  On Saturday, we woke to sleet, snow and slush (the trifecta from hell) which dissolved into a day-long drizzle fest.  Naturally, we had things to do that entailed our being outside all day – namely driving to Ticonderoga to cut some trees and pick up a 16-foot utility trailer, and then spending the afternoon reworking fencing.  By the end of day, we were soggy and chilly – but I heard a few tentative frogs in the wetlands to the east of the house. 

Sunday was drier and warmer, and while it was hardly a sunny Easter Sunday, it was pleasant to be outside.  We finished 90% of the fence rehab, played with the trailer, and played with the horses.  Around 7:00 p.m., after eating dinner and heading outside one last time to put animals in, I heard it – the sound I long for all winter long and relish with squealing delight – the full-throated enmasse voice of the peepers in the wetlands both east and west of the house.

One of the great things about having wetlands is that you have the serenade of peepers in the spring.  And our chorus doesn’t just peep.  They roar.  Their window of opportunity is a relatively short one.  Depending on the weather, they only keep this joyful sound up for a month or so, to be replaced by the more sultry summer sounds of crickets when things really warm up.

We sleep with the head of our bed directly in front of a window, which has been open for a month or so now.  The sound of the peepers mingles with the smell of wet, warming soil and that, my friends, is what I want my last memory on this earth to be.  I have often said to hubby that when I die I hope it is in the spring, with warm weather and those wonderful sounds and scents around me, and not in the winter, curled up in a spastic ball of cold muscles and frozen hands.

(I can, however, do without the sound of the sump pump expelling gallons upon gallons of water out of the basement all night long – also right under our bedroom window.  We jokingly say that the house has bladder control problems, but then I’m the one up twice a night to go to the bathroom.  Think water fountain effect.)

Sunday also brought those Easter staples – peeps.  Yes, I know they aren’t just for Easter anymore, as I’ve seen orange pumpkin peeps and green Christmas tree peeps, but come on, people.  You can’t mess with a tried and true thing.  The Lawyer Lady (my boss Cherie) indulged me in a couple of packages in the weeks leading up to Easter.  It’s amazing the variety of ways people enjoy peeps.  My personal philosophy is that they have to be eaten within 90 seconds of the cellophane being broken.  Any staler and don’t bother, just give them to the horses.  But that’s just me.

On Monday Cherie and I spotted some peeps being used as outdoor decorations.  A couple of cars parked by the post office had peeps on the tips of their antennas.  They looked a little bedraggled, like they had been drizzled on, but they were definitely pink and yellow peeps.  Then we saw some peeps stuck on the ends of bare tree branches, and more adorning a shrub in front of the church.  While it seemed a bit sacrilegious to be impaling peeps around town, it was nonetheless amusing and I would dare say a good way to deal with extra Easter candy.

They were probably stale to begin with.

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