Maine folks are familiar with most of the tricks Mother Nature pulls to surprise us.

For example, the memory of our sons searching for Easter eggs in the snow convinced us that April is still a winter month in Maine.

This year she outdid herself with the best trick ever played, by producing several warm summer-like days in March.

Throwing caution to the winds, we all shed our long johns, dug out shorts, dusted off picnic baskets and noted the ice disappearing off lakes. Wallowing in the insidious warm air prodded us to drop our guard and let the touch of summer unravel our brains.

We were lulled into putting on a few screen doors, breaking out some porch furniture, and even set up the birdbath.

It was glorious.

Two days later it snowed.

Snow-covered rockers are not inviting, particularly when the wind is blowing.

We went back to long johns, heavy sweaters and having the birdbath freeze.

The poor birds who moved in with the warm air seemed distraught. Robins had already hit our front lawn and were probably nursing headaches from punching at the stiff ground.

A few odd bluebirds were perched ready to snatch anything that moved, but there was no action.

One of our local squirrels, who comes every day for his drink in a puddle in the driveway, seemed very confused as he tried to drink from the frozen spot and even ran around to try from the other side.

Maine sap season came and went with perhaps only half the amount of product produced.

Thankfully, there are other signs of the real spring to be noticed.

Ice on the birdbath doesn’t last all day, and bluebirds and chickadees are finally getting their protein with the flies drawn out from the garage shingles by the sun.

Our resident chipmunks spend less time sitting over their homes in the ground, with just a tail in the hole, checking out the situation.

Pretty soon they will let their brandnew kids out to play.

They could also be keeping an eye on the red fox who travels our country road more often than the fields. A neighbor remarked that was one smart fox. It is much easier to pick up road-kill than chase something.

And now, there are fewer oil trucks making deliveries, and town trucks have dropped their plows.

Most important of all, the porta potty dispensing trucks have hit the road.

Spring has arrived.

It surely is time to peek under the leaves for mayflowers.

Barbara Jenni is a resident of Bridgton.