There are signs of spring in my neck of the woods.  A couple obvious ones are rising temperatures and melting snow (funny how those two seem to go hand in hand).  But my favorite sign showed up three nights ago.  I walked a friend out to his car about 9 PM, and while standing on my front steps I clearly heard them: croaking frogs.  There’s a pond a few hundred yards from my front door and the audio evidence was unmistakable.  The frogs are awake, their internal clocks telling them winter is over.

The next night I did a little mountain biking (a sign of spring in its own rite).  On the way home, while passing some bare cornfields, I caught the scent of dry grass and damp soil.  Have you noticed winter has no scent?  Snow and cold seems to eliminate it.  So when spring returns it brings fragrance with it, and makes my nose smile. 

No crocuses blooming, no trees in bud, no new grass coming up–none of the usual, more poetic and aesthetic aspects of the season.  But the singing frogs and earthy scents tell me spring has returned.