Marvelous May


By James McGuire

Contributing columnist

May is my hands-down favorite month, in my favorite of the four seasons—and I’m mighty glad it’s finally here, taking charge of this year’s spring!

I’ve been waiting and looking forward to welcoming May since January!

I’m generally zealous in my enthusiasm for the whole season in its 93-day entirety—a flag-waving, card-carrying, equinox-to-solstice fan. I delight in watching spring unfold, and do my best to follow the vernal progression every step along its greening journey.

This year, however, I’m just tired of all the vacillating. April seemed especially fickle, and overly indecisive.

I don’t want to worry anymore about keeping the stove’s woodbox full. Or being comfortable in a light jacket one day as I walk up to the roadside mailbox—then, to fetch my mail the next day, need to bundle up in a heavy winter coat!

Nope! I’ve had enough of this wishy-washy weather. I want to feel the warm sun on my face, go fishing in shirtsleeves, and sneak around in my backyard after dark collecting nightcrawlers.

In case you’re not into fishbait-gathering, and find that last part confusing, all you need to know is that worms and frost are mutually exclusive.

As a lifelong Buckeye, I’ve witnessed plenty of Ohio springs. I well know it’s a volatile, capricious season. Particularly during the early weeks. Hereabouts, spring changes moods and weather in fits and starts, regularly backtracking, acting skittish and uncertain, behaving as if it can’t quite decide how to forge or follow the path forward.

I accept that—spring will be spring. But while I’m prepared for moody and exasperating, my equanimity can only take so much hesitancy and wavering.

This time around, I got to feeling April was toying with my faith and trust.

May is just the month I need!

Green and gorgeous, full of sunshine and balmy breezes. May is truly spring personified…and it’s absolutely glorious!

The whole month offers an abundance of natural riches. When you start to make plans, and commence thinking about what you want to do, you can’t help but realize just how incredibly generous this fifth month is with its wealth of outdoor opportunities and adventures.

In fact, May’s only problem is its length—a paltry thirty-one days. That simply isn’t long enough to sample and savor it all—not even close!—though you can’t hold such plenitude against it.

May gives us a burgeoning landscape, already visibly resurrected from what it was a month back—and still in the initial stages of regenerating and refurbishing itself. Look around! Every landscape sports a thousand shades of green! The sweet, soft air is redolent with a captivating perfume. Buds decorate bushes and trees. Leaves are out. And everywhere—fields and forest, prairies and wetlands—myriad wildflowers bloom in profusion, spattering the awakening earth in a rainbow of hues.

Beauty extraordinaire! Scenes no painting or photo can ever capture!

From dawn to dusk, May’s days inspire a vast avian chorus—feathered songsters who suffuse the month’s background with their ebullient music.

Does a white-throated sparrow ever sound sweeter than in May?

For the inveterate forager, May is a prime month for filling your tote sack with tasty wild treats. Morel mushrooms are on the top of any gatherer’s list, followed by dandelions and a dozen other greens and potherbs.

But for the incorrigible angler, May is even better—or worse, if your free time is limited and you have to make choices. A simply extraordinary trove of fish and fishing possibilities. Crappie, bluegill, rock bass, smallmouth, largemouth, several species of catfish, saugeye, walleye, perch, white bass, and if you head to the hill country and fish the right creeks, spotted bass.

You can fish lakes or rivers, creeks or ponds—from Erie’s inland sea to the Ohio’s namesake flowing border.

But I can tell you right now, you can’t sample it all. There are simply more piscatorial possibilities out there this month than even the most gung-ho, sleep-abstaining angler can conquer.

I know—because I’ve tried and failed practically every single May since I got my driver’s license. I always have high hopes, and make big plans. Amazingly, a high percentage get carried out and succeed. The fishing is incredible this month—and you’d have to work hard at it to fail!

I’m never disappointed.

So I mean no disrespect when I also tell you May is more than superb multiple fishing possibilities.

May is truly special—spring’s most wondrous and magical month.

Reach the writer at [email protected]

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