Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Starving Time

It's that time of year, the starving time. Back in the bad old days this was the time of year when you'd find out of your food storage was enough to last. Sometimes it wasn't. It would be a hungry time. There's not a lot of game around. Snow's still on the ground here in the Great North Woods. Sure, there's patches of green, poking through the snow, but not much to eat.

I've come across a couple deer that didn't make it. They lasted until spring but not until the new growth. At least the crows and ravens are eating well.

Then there are the bears. Once they start moving around, it's a problem. They are hungry after a winter's hibernation. With so little natural food available in the woods, they move into settled areas and make pests of themselves.

It's a weird time of year. One day it's T-shirt weather. The next, it's snowing. I've seen a half foot of snow on May 5. It can break your heart.

The old timers around here say not to plant until after the first full moon in May. Far as I can tell, they've been spot on. Not that folk wisdom will be useful in the future as our climate changes.

I do keep an eye on those bare patches where the sun hits. Green things will be coming up. First around rocks and walls that hold the heat of the sun. For me it's a big deal when there's enough wild greens to make a salad.

It signals the end of the starving time.


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