Yes, snow is almost gone. Potentially disappeared yet even when it all goes away, it isn't unheard of to have a spring day or two that turns murky with slushy, sleet. Insert sigh here.
Right now there are banks in yards big enough to build a snow fort, snow man or any other snow engineered structure you might have in mind. But snow has definitely shrunk and trickles of water are running down the street and the roads are almost clear but on the lawns and fields the banks hang on with icy tentacles, claws gripping into the ice as the sun beats down with singular determination.
And then, there it is - the sign.
I can see the top of the gnome's head, garden variety. That is a sign that the snow is about to lose its battle.
The end is near and we're all out there doing our best to enjoy the beautiful weather and the imminent turn from ice and snow and anticipate the possibility of warm days and sunshine that's right around the corner. On yesterday's dog walk I saw two little girls digging passionately into a four foot bank, creating some masterpiece that only they could visualize. Further on there were two more children stomping on drifts of snow, one with a catcher's mitt on and the little girl in plastic summer shoes that I'm sure made snow pounding, slightly treacherous. Further down the road was a man taking the shovel to his mounds of snow and scattering them over the sidewalk so they'd melt that much sooner.
As I turned the corner I saw the ultimate way to spend a sunny, still snow-filled prairie day. Two people had hauled their lawn chairs to the front yard and there they sat perched on a still towering drift with bare legs, gleaming white and sun starved.
And the garden gnome - I'm declaring him the first sign of spring. Who cares what the calendar says. On the prairies, when it comes to weather, we've tossed the rule book aside.
And speaking of rule book - that romantic suspense where love is heating up and danger is firing shots around them, well it's not going to finish by itself. So it's off to enjoy some warmer weather in the land of limestone cliffs and awesome caves, Mulu, Malaysia, where things aren't so rosy despite the scenery.
On the snow draped prairies G is for gone and hello gnome!