Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring Peepers and the "Dolly Varton"

About three weeks ago, when I first heard the spring peepers, I decided it was time to start recording some thoughts. Now April 28th, I am finally getting around to it.
It has been a topsy-turvy, typical April weather month in northwestern Pennsylvania. But we did have about two weeks of very nice, spring-like weather.
The spring peepers finally started singing on April 7th, which is a week or two later than normal. It's always good to hear them. It signals a new year.
A week later, I was able to plant peas and then lettuce, kale, mustard and spinach. Never really tried the mustard and kale; those seeds were free with a seed order and I said what the heck.
The tomatoes and peppers have been growing nicely inside the house and maybe next week the plants can out into the cold frame. I just don't trust the weather this week. The forecast for the next several days calls for night time temperatures to go below freezing with possible wet snow.
Last week the trout lilies started to bloom in the woods and the jack-in-pulpits started to emerge.
While nature was waking up, it seems Pennsylvania voters are still sleeping. Obama lost the state by ten percentage points on April 22 Hopefully, voters in Indiana and North Carolina will pick up the slack.
My favorite story ( I earn a meager living as a freelance writer) this past month was one of the memories of Caldwell Creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania. I was able to interview some fishermen, who are now in their mid-seventies, remember the creek when they were teenagers.
There is an old railroad that use to follow the creek. The train basically ran between Titusville and Dunkirk, New York hauling freight and passengers. In the early 1900's it was a popular passenger train called the "Dolly Varton". The service ended in 1937 and in the sixties the trains stopped completely and the tracks removed.