Volume 15, Issue 8 ~ February 22 - February 28, 2007

Bay Reflections

Spring on Ice

Despite the cold, the sap is rising

photo by Sheri Rinehuls;

text by Sandra Olivetti Martin, Bay Weekly Editor

Despite the cold, spring is rising within the depths of things. Tradition has it that the new cycle of growth begins on Valentine’s Day, when the birds go a’courting. Chesapeake spring begins even earlier, with the turning of light on the winter solstice, according to naturalist John Taylor, who chronicles its subtle progress in works and paintings in his book Chesapeake Spring.

In fact, spring begins earlier still. These blossoms — likely red maple — were set in late summer and early autumn. In autumn and early winter, temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees seasoned the tree for growth. In the new year, when warmer days with cold night sent sap flowing up the trees, the buds swelled.

This year’s Valentine ice storm magnified the promise of spring in the swollen tree blossoms, covering them to twice their diameter in ice and dropping them down to our level.

About the Photographer

Sheri Rinehuls, an art teacher in Anne Arundel County, found the cold weather and school closings the ideal combination for great Valentine’s Day shooting.

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