ESCANABA - It's time for a clean carpet.
Shake out those rugs and get rid of all of those remnants of winter. Mother Nature has hired a new flooring guy. He'll spruce up and brighten up our north woods.
Tiny little long dormant fluffs of green shag are ready to emerge. Nappy mosses and lichens swell. From the floors of the forests and the fields, sprout dainty wisps of spring vegetation.
Karen Wils photos
The two photos show bloodroot flowers opening up on the forest floor. These wildflowers are one of the first to come with the “green-up.”
"Green-up" is a wonderful time in our neck of the woods.
Early pioneers and lumberjacks welcomed this "green-up" that protected them some against wild fires in their sawdust and wooden world.
Farmers relished the "green-up" season that turned their drab, grey grounds into green pasture land. It also signaled the start to another growing season.
After the long, cold winter of 2013/14, I think we all feel a little bit like Bambi (in the Walt Disney movie) overjoyed to see something growing!
As the old saying goes - "April showers bring May flowers" - nothing can be more welcomed than green grass and daffodils after so many months of snow, sleet, ice and rain.
From snow white to grey, black and brown to lush green vibrant and growing is what the weeks of May will bring to the U.P. There is no better time to get outdoors. It would be so much fun to have a time lapse camera recording the changes in the forest floor in just a few weeks' time.
Even dandelions popping out in the crack of a sidewalk, can bring a smile after such a long winter. When the deer leave the sloppy wet woods to find sprigs of rye and green plants along the fields and roadways, it's a welcomed sight.
The new flooring guy will hide away the ugliness of winter kills, animal droppings and windfall branches. The wet plastering of last autumn's leaves on the ground will become the sub-flooring of new life.
The new carpet will contain vibrant green leeks, milky white bloodroot flowers, yellow Canada violets and fiddlehead ferns.
Silver, grey pussy willows will stand at the marshes edge with the chatty red-winged black bird perched within.
Raindrop by raindrop and minute by minute the outside temperature slowly rises. The vernal ponds, leftovers from the melting snow and ice are gradually ignited with life. Salamanders, tadpoles, water beetles and wood ducks swim on the pond while the edges grow green with plants.
A new carpet is coming to your yard, too. Cleaning up winter leftovers, litter, leaves and twigs can spruce up your neighborhood. How welcomed is green grass going to be after the winter of 2013/14 or the first wildflower?
Get out and enjoy the "green-up." In no time at all, we will be walking barefoot on the new lush carpet.
Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong resident of north Escanaba. Her folksy columns are published weekly in Lifestyles.