Signs of spring: telltale confusion

All of my cyclometers read the correct time since daylight savings time jumped ahead to announce warmer times to which they were initially set. We’re finally putting some more miles on the tandem, and riding the commute from Saxapahaw to Chapel Hill. The longer than usual winter ended a couple weeks ago, and within days the signs of spring were everywhere. This one right here in Saxapahaw seems to imply that Easter is now right around the corner –

(“Easter is more than something to dye for.” These Methodists are strong with puns.)

This Saturday’s ride, as temps hit 80F after a week of 40s and 50s was a beautiful strange combination of calm summer weather amid a landscape of winter-bare trees. Just in the past week have any buds started to show, and the white blossoms on the bradford pear trees highlight the landscape like last month’s snow.

The first signs of spring to accompany what we can really call the first “nice” days, i.e. warm and enjoyably bikeable days (as opposed bikeable, yet hardly pleasantly so) two weeks ago, were, alas, garbage. The same weekend that all the fair weather cyclists jumped back in the saddle to join the hardy all-weather riders and crowd the country lanes of Orange and Alamance and Chatham counties, everyone else seemed to be taking out the trash. It seems as though during the deep freeze that settled over the south in the months of January and February, no one took out the trash, just let the bags pile up in their yards. That first Saturday that was nice enough to coax everyone out of doors, folks loaded up their pick-ups to overflowing with all their stored-up trash. The result was bags that had spilled out into and along the country roadways. In my bicycle travels, I counted over a dozen split and strewn garbage bags along my tri-county route.

Other tell-tale signs of spring:
-daffodils so green and yellow they look like plastic legos against the brown landscape,
-cobwebs across the trails,
-ants in the pantry,
-the first tick buried deep in my skin,
-and, turtles are once again perilously crossing the road.

(We watched a car straddle this snapper, then my brave stoker carried it off Bethel South Fork road toward the pond it was racing to get to.)

I’ve decided to make a point of taking photos of the church signs I see in the area. I’ve long been amused by the slogans, puns and chides used to bring souls under the roof. Some of them are really touching and sincere. Some are upbraiding, fire and brimstone. Other are just plain head scratchers, like this one here:
"Laughing is like jogging on the inside welcome"

“Laughing is like jogging on the inside.” As we rode by this, we had quite a discussion on the tandem about what this could mean. It seems like it’s trying to be a positively affirming statement that laughter and lightness of spirit, like exercise, is good for the body. But jogging really is not like laughing, except when you need to pee, in which case both laughing and jogging are quite dangerous; and I suppose if either jogging or laughing are done long and hard enough, you may begin to cry. But really, laughing is fun and spontaneous. Jogging hurts, and requires a serious amount of motivation and planning to get out the door. I’m trying to find a link to a righteous Christian message here, but it escapes me. At least the writer of this phrase has got my attention.

What confusing signs of spring, or church signs are you witnessing?


4 Responses to “Signs of spring: telltale confusion”

  1. 1 T R Ever March 26, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    you know it is spring in Maine when the vultures return….

  2. 2 2whls3spds March 28, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Being near the Sandhills of NC…they copious clouds of yellow pollen should be appearing soon 🙂


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