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The Magic of Spring
By Bill Hoagland
I have spent the past few weeks doing some turkey hunting both in Illinois and in the Missouri Ozarks. The weather has not been very cooperative and so yes, we are again empty-handed from a hunter’s perspective but it really has not been wasted time out there in the woods. That’s because I am surrounded in those woods with a beautiful array of sweet williams, blue bells, white flowering dogwoods, red buds, and other flowering plants that I appreciate but never have bothered to identify. And did I mention the morels?
This symphony of spring only lasts a short time but I would not miss it for the world.
I have lots of friends who grew up in the Midwest but who have since moved permanently to places where there is almost no hint of spring, fall or winter—you know, places like Florida, Arizona or California. I understand why they move, health reasons and eventual dread of ice and snow being among those reasons. But for me, I can’t imagine living somewhere where there is no change of seasons. Annie and I are outside every day—Annie much moreso than me—and these seasonal changes are an integral part of our lives, especially the spring, when we get that needed sense of renewal every year.
Generally, my friends who have permanently departed from the Midwest vigorously defend their decision to move. But still, I have to wonder how they cannot possibly miss those brilliant spring mornings and all those delicate flowers. So as a dedication of my snowbird friends, I am attaching a photo of some bluebells, here today and gone tomorrow, which makes them all the more memorable.
■ Bill Hoagland has practiced law in Alton for more than 50 years, but he has spent more than 70 years hunting, fishing and generally being in the great outdoors. His wife, Annie, shares his love of the outdoor life. Much of their spare time is spent on their farm in Calhoun County. Bill can be reached at email@example.com.