The weather today was not only gloriously warm, but sunny. This is a rarity in late winter Indiana, due to meteorological phenomena that I do not pretend to understand but seem to produce a correlation between warm and wet and, conversely, cold and sunny. This strange confluence of both higher temperatures and a clear sky prompted me out of doors, aided and abetted by a free afternoon.
First, I noticed that the trees are starting to bud. This may not have the same significance to you as it carries for me, but one of my earliest signals that spring is approaching, albiet still at a fair distance, is when the tiny buds that form on the trees and remain there, hard little knots all winter, begin to swell and soften. The tree in front of our townhouse has full-fledged, fuzzy buds.
Then, I went for a lovely traipse. The best traipses, I find, include a fair bit of trespassing. It's no coincidence that the words sound so similar, to my mind, for you really oughtn't to have one without the other. The only slightly dangerous adventure that trespassing adds to traipsing rounds out the experience, and I can think of no legitimate reason to trespass excepting a nice walk that happens to lead through a neighbor's property. I was raised on trespassing; my father, lacing into his snowshoes and criss-crossing deer paths across the back acres of several neighbors, summed our communal acceptance of the practice up quite nicely. "If they can't take a joke, screw 'em." I came home with shoes soaked by snowmelt puddles and increasing optimism that winter is not, in fact, endless.