Friday, March 12, 2010

Springtime in Minnesota: Melting Snow, Rain, and Gloom at Noon

Part of my job is to provide 250 witty, bright, cheerful words each Friday. Or, failing that, somewhat interesting words.

It's been overcast all week. It's above freezing during the day, below at night. We've had rain off and on. Tuesday, it was on: all day.

Particularly around noon, when Loonfoot Falls' light-sensitive street lights turned themselves on, Tuesday was damp, depressing, depressive, dim, dingy, dismal, dispiriting, doleful, downcast, drab, dreary and dull.

Still, it could be worse. The Loonfoot River isn't threatening to flood. Not yet.

That song that goes "The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la, breathe promise of merry sunshine"? From the Mikado? I'm pretty sure that Gilbert didn't have Minnesota's version of spring in mind when he wrote that.

We get blooming flowers here in Minnesota: along with mosquitoes, horse flies and leeches. But by then it's more 'early summer' than spring.

Despite their name, horse flies are only about an inch long. Then there are deer flies, stable flies and biting midges.

The Minnesota tourism folks may write me another letter about this, but the fact is that we share the state with an impressive roster of invertebrate blood suckers. Although technically, black flies lap up their meal.

If you're visiting here and someone talks about no-see-ums, that person may not be pulling your leg. That's another name around here for biting midges. They're about a tenth of an inch long, and can walk right through a window screen. And some tent material.

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