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Artists Brush with Spring

After a Dreary Winter, Nature Prepares a New Canvas.

Spring is here, and our northern areas are encountering the almost-forgotten sights and sounds of this gently blustering season. There are whitecapped millponds, stretching and tossing after their icy hibernations; pussy willows sunning themselves like wise kittens; and increasingly frequent flashes of bright birds back home after their vacation down South.

There’s the first faintly perceptible yellowing of bare-limbed maples beginning to get dressed in their cool summer green; snow banks of spiraea blossoms making believe that winter has come back; lines of Monday-morning wash whipping like bright flags under the high-riding sun.

There’s the sound of peepers in springtime pools, reminding us that even April can get a little frog in her throat in such changeable weather; the drip of maple sap from a boy-broken tree branch and the back-to-work buzzing of bees; the chirping of newly hatched chicks; the eager rush and gurgle of city gutters and country trout streams; the satisfying crack of the first clean-hit ball and the mud sucking sound of boys’ shoes, unfettered by galoshes, as they play catch in a soggy field.

There’s a new ring to Sunday church bells, unhurried but clear over the balmy air, telling us that perhaps it is not yet irrevocably later than we think, that there is always a new beginning, another chance for our sad old world, one more hope for us all.

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"Apple Blossoms" by Howard Scott; 1944

"Apple Blossoms" by Howard Scott; 1944

"Spring Storm Moving In," by John Falter; 1952

"Spring Storm Moving In," by John Falter; 1952

"Flying Kites," by John Falter; 1950

"Flying Kites," by John Falter; 1950

"Windy City," by John Falter; 1946

"Windy City," by John Falter; 1946

"Hardware Store at Springtime," by Stevan Dohanos; 1946

"Hardware Store at Springtime," by Stevan Dohanos; 1946

"Chicks in Incubator," by Stevan Dohanos; 1949

"Chicks in Incubator," by Stevan Dohanos; 1949

"Recess at Pine Creek," by John Clymer; 1960

"Recess at Pine Creek," by John Clymer; 1960

"Harbinger of Spring," by John Clymer; 1955

"Harbinger of Spring," by John Clymer; 1955

"Oregon Baseball," by John Clymer; 1951

"Oregon Baseball," by John Clymer; 1951

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