The derecho season summer 2012 dragged trees and branches down all around town. Torrential rains and wind wreaked havoc with any building effort the last session of Tink campers made. They were able to rebuild their structure once, but the second time proved to be too much!
"Things have changed in the extreme," read a sign one of the den-builders painted and stuck on a bamboo stake stuck in the ground in front of the now sodden and very much leaning structure they had been working on all week. As children will do, he read it out loud, stressing the "in the extreme," because the weather, the wreckage was all so extreme, but mostly the sign was about change, extreme change. After the storm shredded their den, they made got down to the real business of building shelter...shelter from a zombie invasion, that is where their inspiration took them. They responded and expressed a bit of play that, in their view, fit the situation. Looking at the bedraggled camp, I couldn't disagree with them.
When you live in in the Washington DC Metropolitan area, you do get used to Weather, capital W. Good, bad, and truly, truly lovely. In the past two weeks, we have flipped from one extreme to another with snow and reeling temperatures, warm then cold. Once they give the weather patterns names that sound like 80s rock albums, like derecho and polar vortex, you know things are going to get loopy.
So, here we are in spring, yet it is not very spring-like. No flowers blooming, though some daffodils and crocuses have made their appearance only to be immediately covered in snow. Yesterday's snow, hopefully the last for the season, was especially perfect. It did not stick to the roads or walks, it came down quickly and continued all day, alternating between large puffy flakes and fast-falling intense ones. The temperature stayed steady and the children got down to the business of moving and dusting snow -- so much to do, so much work to be done, their brooms and mittened hands busy at work as they bustled around sweeping off the constantly collecting snow.
By next week, the meteorologists tell us that we will have sunny weather and warmer temps (60°F/15°C). We will go, into the forest, to check other evidence of spring changing from one ultimate loose part, snow, for the other perfect loose part, mud.
Get ready. Things are about to change...in the extreme.