One of the strange aspects of publishing a seasonal magazine is the fact that the weather during the production of the issue doesn’t necessarily reflect the season that the issue represents. For example, as I write this editorial for the Spring Issue, the morning temperature is 13 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of 0 degrees. I’m trying to imagine what warmer outside temperatures feel like right now, and believe me, I have to use my imagination.
The winter of 2013-2014 has got to be one of the coldest winters in recent memory. The snow cover has been consistent over a long period of time. Usually we experience thawing periods, but this year they are short-lived and far apart. Don’t get me wrong, I actually do like winter and all the outdoor activities that go along with it. Downhill skiing is probably my favorite winter sport at the moment, and I love a day where the snow is fresh and clinging to tree branches.
But now, even I am ready for spring. Bring on the warmer temperatures and the bright colors of green grass, vibrant flowers and bursting tree buds. Let me hear the cheerful birdsong of early morning.
Those of us who are water enthusiasts can’t wait for the ice to clear off the lakes, rivers and ponds. There was a lot of ice this year, even covering much of the surface area of many of the Finger Lakes. Now, all I want to do is get a canoe or kayak out into the warmer waters and explore the shoreline and see the wildlife. In this issue, you can read about the Conesus Lake Inlet, at the southern end of the lake (see page 42). This area is a good example of a pocket of wild country in the midst of developed land that contains a diverse and healthy population of plants and wildlife.
Once you arrive at your favorite paddling location, you can slip into your choice of flat water boat to quietly view the wildlife. The region is lucky to have the Marathon Boat Group in Cortland County (see page 48). They make Grumman boats and have been around for 70 years, and they continue to produce quality boats. When my wife and I first moved to this area, we explored the waterways in an 18-foot aluminum Grumman canoe. That boat is well-made and will survive just about anything. I think it’s at least 30 years old, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it lasted 100 more years.
Many of us associate spring with flowers. I think the front cover of this issue reflects our desire to see beautiful, bright flowering plants. To feel the warmth of a greenhouse and the sweet fragrance from various blooms can put anyone in a good mood. Dickman Farms in Auburn is an example of a greenhouse and garden center that celebrates spring with a well-attended garden show (see page 32). Visiting a local garden show or greenhouse is a fun way to shake off the winter blues and purchase plants for your garden and flowerbeds. It seems that more people are planting gardens these days – it’s a great way to offset the cost of groceries a bit, and more importantly, it gets us outside and moving around. There’s nothing as therapeutic as digging into warm soil and tending to your plants.
Like all the magazine issues we publish, we hope to expose you to different and eclectic aspects of the Finger Lakes Region. Trying new things is good for you. I hope one of the articles will inspire you to take advantage of warmer temperatures to do just that.
by Mark Stash