Mississippi Teacher Corps

Thursday, March 27, 2008

spring in the delta

Spring is the one season in the delta that I like compared to up north. Here’s a quick rundown of the other seasons. Summer: hot and humid to the point where I sometimes feel like I’m suffocating when I walk outside. No good for outdoor sports or most other kinds of hanging out outside. Fall: not as bad as summer, but the leaves aren’t all that pretty. Temperatures are bearable, but those awful fire ants prevent me from enjoying being outside a lot of the time. Winter: horrible. Everything is brown and dead, and it is cold enough to run my heating bill very high and keep my house from feeling comfortable and to make me feel uncomfortable, but not cold enough for snow. The cold is a damp, biting cold, not a dry cold. The worst part about the cold is that temperatures rapidly fluctuate between the 30’s and 60’s, meaning that I never really get adjusted to the cold.

I love spring down here, though. I noticed the first signs of it when I returned from break. First, the daffodils and Japanese magnolias come out, adding a little bit of color to the drab landscape. Then, the cherry blossoms, dogwoods, and more ground flowers come into bloom. Bright yellowish green leaves start appearing on the trees. Thanks to daylight savings time, it no longer gets dark shortly after I come home, making me feel like I have more time to relax after a day of school. I can smell springtime, too: the scent of the different flowers mixes together to give the air an overall sweetness, and I start to smell freshly cut grass from the neighbor’s yards.

Soon, the bayou trees will have leaves again and the bayou will look like a proper swamp. The white magnolias will start to bloom, brightening up the landscape with large white flowers. Then, the blackberries will ripen, meaning that I can wander the edges of the catfish ponds and cotton fields picking them and have enough to make a pie, or just have a bowl of big fresh blackberries to eat.

At night, I hear the sounds of spring: the birds continue singing throughout the night, and the peepers from the ponds sing their songs. Crickets chirp. But a few days ago, I heard the sound that, to me, heralds the official arrival of spring: the low, buzzing, almost mechanical song of the locusts.


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