Rain, ice, sleet, snow, mud, sunshine and dramatic shifts in temperature – sure signs of spring in Vermont. A record-breaking snowstorm to the north, rain in the south, and ice coating everything at the higher elevations. First boil of the season yesterday, after gathering sap in the pouring rain the day before. Steam rising from the sugar house, bare earth appearing between large patches of snow and ice, a fresh dusting of snow, and a smattering of blue sky. A stretch of the West River a sea of broken and burst ice, the fishing shacks coming off the ice at the estuary where the West meets the Connecticut River. Soon we’ll be tasting the sweetness of spring, and the first of the season’s maple syrup.