I know that spring has arrived in the Finger Lakes when my neighbors who are still in Florida anxiously e-mail me to find out if the snow has melted in front of their garages so they can drive their car into the garage when they return without having to shovel any snow. They talk about how nice it is in Florida with day time temperatures in the eighties, but secretly they long to see if the deer have eaten all of the new shrubs that they planted last fall or if their spring bulbs have survived through our cold Finger Lakes winter. And they know that all too soon, their lawns will need mowing after they have spread some fertilizer to speed up the greening process.
Curiously, it’s the animals that tell us that spring is here. Watch in the skies as the Canadian geese are traveling north to their summer homes. Or drive down on Canandaigua’s City Pier. The ducks and the geese all have to share a few open spots of water. This year there were Redhead ducks to be seen, playfully swimming in the open water. They know that it’s time for mating and to return to their summer breeding grounds in the northern prairies of the United States and Canada. They won’t hang around long as they have a long distance to travel and they are anxious to start their new families.
The humans too have made some progress over the winter as the skeleton of the new conference center along Canandaigua Lake is rising out of the sand and swamp which used to be home to the roller coaster of Canandaigua’s Roseland’s park. Slowly, the work continued all through the winter as concrete was poured when the temperatures were above freezing.
The docks behind the old Steamboat Landing are still encased in ice and one can’t tell just by looking that spring has arrived. And the Canandaigua Lady, a replica of a stern wheel paddle boat, is still encased in ice down along the City Pier. But come Mother’s Day, things will be different and she will be all ready to take the anxious tourists out onto Canandaigua Lake for another season of summer sun and fun.