We've been experiencing another wet spring and early summer here in Pennsylvania. Warm temperatures in the 80s have only lasted for a few days at a time, and rain and overcast skies have dominated most weeks. Many of my elders have yet to turn on their air conditioning units, and my bedroom window is void of its usual fan. For the first time this year, I plugged in my dehumidifier this weekend.
March can be a frustrating time in western Pennsylvania. Spring weather intersperses with winter temperatures, teasing residents with the promise of warmth and sun one day only to have the next day requiring winter coats once again. Buds on the trees start to swell, and if the warmer temps stick around for too many days in a row, they may even start to grow leaves before the final snow of winter falls. Other signs of spring include the return of migratory birds, such as turkey vultures, killdeer, and red-winged blackbirds. And the spring peepers, a tiny native tree frog, have been singing for several days in the wetlands now.
I'm going to keep this post short and simple, because the message here is simple and straight-forward. I can go months without coming across a single vehicular accident anywhere along my commutes. But in the past seven days, I have come across four of them, all along major roadways and rendering traffic backed up for hours. This past week was free of snow or freezing rain on the days of the wrecks. Two of the incidents involved shifting and/or unsecured loads.
So winter has truly set in for me now. We've had enough snow in the past week that the private lane I live on is covered with a compacted layer of icy white stuff. You don't get to my place without four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive at this time of year. It's great if you don't like visitors! But at the same time, it can be more than a bit of a problem. Sometimes I can get snowed in or snowed out.
This weekend, western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region had to deal with some relatively common winter weather. So most people in our region spent the weekend at home, avoiding the cold as much as possible. I took advantage of the long, uneventful hours by working on some fanart. I know I should have probably spent part of the weekend writing or editing, but it's been nearly a year since I took time to work on a piece solely for my enjoyment. And the time spent on sketching, painting, and coloring helped distract my mind from other things.