Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Looks Like Spring to Me

I don't care if it was only 16 degrees today, or that the north wind blew the chop ice into Suttons Bay and clear our to Peshawbestown. I don't care if it was icy in the shade; the sun on the deck was warm and drying. Spring is near, if not here.

The birds know it's spring. The chickadees and Cardinals and nuthatches have switched to their spring songs and they are singing them insistently The chickens are laying, and one is thinking about setting. I hope she's still broody when it gets warm enough to actually hatch chicks.

I went to the laundromat this morning and hung these clothes out about noon. the light stuff got pretty dry, but the towels and jeans froze stiff as boards. Still, the sun is high enough and the wind was strong enough to pull moisture out of the clothes, frozen or not. It only took a little dryer time to finish them.

I stopped drying clothes outside in November, not because it was too cold, but because the days were too short and the sun never rose high enough to clear the barn and hit the clothesline. The sun's trajectory now is the same as mid-October, and the days are lengthening faster as we approach the equinox. I'll be planning the laundry for sunny days now.

My clothesline is in full view of everyone driving by. People will comment now that I've hung laundry. It is a sign of spring for many of the neighbors. I always think of it as a statement about energy conservation and being unashamed of doing housework. The folks at The Laundry Project have a website devoted to energy conservation, clothesline advocacy and laundry tips. I tried their technique for hanging towels doubled up and pinned at the top to make them flap against themselves in the wind and dry softer. It didn't work this time, but it might work if it was warmer.

I snapped the picture around 5:30, just before I took it all down. There is a downy woodpecker on the feeder. My favorite part of hanging out clothes in the warmer months is standing out in the yard folding clothes as I take them off the line and watching the birds.

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