Saturday, March 28, 2015
The Dark Tea Time of the Spring
Image at left courtesy of David Wilmot who graciously allows its use on these pages for only the price of attribution. We found the image over on wikicommons.
David, thanks for the lovely snapshot and I hope your morning tea is the perfect temp.
Douglas Adams wrote his second Dirk Gently detective novel with the title The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul which was a phrase lifted from his five-part trilogy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
We're coming to the point here. Give us a minute.
The phrase is uttered by a character with infinite lifespan to describe the wretched boredom of being immortal. We amend its use here.
It's not-quite-spring. Horrid excuse for a season, really.
Louis the foxhound and I wandered our small north meadow this morning. Grand day full of heavy frost.
Does pawed in the west strip meadow doing some advance real estate shopping for fawning beds. Three - a usual number for this time of year. Last year we had twins that hung around through August nibbling outside my library window in the evenings. Very exciting.
We flushed turkey from their late-morning roosts (for turkey, they're early risers normally this time of year) along the east woods and fence line.
Louis flushed a sleek field hare from bunny pile #1. Probably a young buck by the way he moved. Louis doesn't chase the bunnies. He'll track them and he'll flush them for sport but bunnies are beneath his prey radar. There's a beagle down inside him but he doesn't let it out much.
Meadow cats - an entirely different thing. There's a white-and-grey that teases him horribly.
Trout. It is trout of whom I'm thinking.
It's going to be a low-water spring as the weather patterns sets-up. There is still a fair amount of run-off ice melt still to come but we'll not have the blow-outs of last year which moved timber and pile.
It's time to be on the water. Not quite.
Trout are moving slow. It's streamer season on the float up north because at thirty-eight degrees, the fish are hungry but sometimes sluggish. It's bottom-third action. It's cover-lots-of-water action. It isn't yet "good" for the wade angler.
It's the long dark tea time of the spring.
The snow is gone. (Did flurry heavy yesterday but no accumulation). The sun is bright. The water cold. Knee-numbing cold. Not-fun-on-wet-hand cold.
Remember that feeling from late fall? Have I put you down yet?
I'll have a cup of coffee at the local fly shop. I'll fondle gear. I'll talk about ordering a new rod for fall. I'll turn down a pitch to go to Labrador for Brookies this summer.
I'll fit some reels to a Barch '88 clone which has unusual ideas about reel feet it will accept. I'll whine about wanting to use some of my accumulated System One/ Diawa 706 click-and-pawls instead of my Able TR2. We'll confirm that a Hardy Duchess fits the rod and I'll be sunk.
Dirk - partner in my local shop - has kids in college. I'll call the new reel an "educational expense" on the taxes. [ IRS: that was a joke. Really. Don't get up. I'll bring you your tea. IRS - Vogons? Never been seen together. One in the same? You be the judge.]
I'll write a couple nice letters to the purveyors of some of our favorite amber beverages and ask if I can use images on this personal-use-yet-public blog with the provision of non-commercial non-monetized sourcing.
I'll cut back some Staghorn Sumac and edit a story that has to go out out on submission. I'll torment myself over an early rough of another story.
I'll think of a tight line cutting through the North Branch of the Au Sable from an over-anxious Brookie taking a Partridge-and-Olive over a gravel flat just downstream from Powerline. I'll probably have vine charcoal on my hand from sketching the scene. I'll leave out the image of netting him with the big ghost net and having him wiggle through.
I might call Dirk and buy a new vise.
I'll have a nice cup of tea.
How's your stock of brandy doing?
Mine's running low.
Come on, spring.