April is polka dotted in Vermont. The mountains are just touched all over with wee little green buds, and from a distance it surely looks like a million pale green polka dots. Adding to the effect are the occasional trees that are leafing out, and these make bigger fatter dots on the sides of these big mountains.
One of the keenest things about Vermont in the spring is the way the sweet fresh greens climb back up the mountains. In the autumn we have all that bawdy red and orange rolling down at us. October is the month Vermont lifts her skirts and puts on that show for which she is famous. But the end of April is almost a secret. It comes right on the heels of mud season you see, when all of that cold deep snow melts, and turns the recently quiet rivers into raging loud cascades and waterfalls. The frozen lakes have finally given way. And right along side all that wild beauty are muddy hillsides, and choppy roads with deep rivulets of left over river working their way onto every slope, and into every yard. But then the mountains soak it all up and the green thing happens.
Vermont is called the Green Mountain State. And it is the end of April when dozens of shades of green begin just at the bottoms of the mountains and start to climb gently up toward the sun at the top. The leaves are small babies. It is still chilly here, tonight for instance it is about 50 degrees outside, so spring lasts a while and the leaves get to take their time growing up. They are buds for several days, and then the new leaf emerges. Its almost as if it is too cold for it to dare to grow, so instead the trees all race up the mountains to get those buds if theirs turned into a little leaf.
The spring sunlight is amazing. Stand right in a puddle of it and you can feel its warmth spread across your cheeks. It is a color here for about four weeks that we never see at any other time. It is a bright pale yellow. It glances off all the white clapboard houses that have been standing, if a little crookedly some of them, since the late 1700s. It bounces from white house to white house, and the whole of the village seems dipped in this very light pale yellow which makes us all glow. We get a little giddy from the light and the polka dotted mountains. Winter is forgotten as we clean up and skip through the days touched by the wonder that is springtime in Vermont….