Although the calendar says spring officially arrived a week or so ago the signs of spring, including its sounds, have been noticeably slow to arrive.

I don't know if I could ever adjust to living in an area that seemingly has just one long season. However, as I am getting older my appreciation has greatly diminished for freezing rain, sleet and snow, plus the frigid temperatures that typically accompanies those winter weather events. While maybe life on a sun-drenched beach would not be so bad at some point in the future, for now I remain a fan of four seasons.

While each of the four seasons - even winter - has elements that appeal, one of my favorite times of year is the transition from winter to spring. Specifically I enjoy the sounds that accompany spring's arrival.

Although the calendar says spring officially arrived a week or so ago the signs of spring, including its sounds, have been noticeably slow to arrive.

One springtime sound I have already noted on days when the temperature has crept above 45 degrees has been the rumble of motorcycles. While some diehard bikers can be heard during the warmer days of winter, a majority wait to take their bikes out of storage until the temperature pushes past the mid-50s.

A surefire sound of spring is the noise of lawnmowers dealing with old leaves and new grass. While by the end of March last year I had reluctantly already put my mower to use, as April arrived this year I had yet to fire up my mower. I must admit it's a sound I haven't missed.

Another distinctive sound of spring is the whine the wind can make on a blustery day as it blows through the still-bare tree limbs.

Although I'm sure a number of songbirds spend the winter in northeast Missouri I don't really notice them until the arrival of spring when I frequently start to hear them. Whether it be the chirps of a hungry robin or the song of a cardinal as it stakes out its territory in my backyard, I enjoy hearing them sing.

And while not the most melodic song one will ever hear coming from a feathered creature, I still find it enjoyable to hear the honking of high-flying geese as they wing their way to their nesting grounds somewhere far to the north.

I was treated to one of my favorite sounds of spring a couple of weeks ago on a rainy Friday night. As I stood at the sink dealing with a few dirty dishes I heard a distinctive low rumble.

"Thunder?" I asked myself.

Because I had not seen a flash I questioned if I had truly heard what I thought I'd heard.

While there aren't many sounds that one might mistake for thunder, there is at least one that periodically fools me. On more than one occasion I have peaked outside on a star-filled night after hearing the sound of train cars being coupled together in the train yard off of Warren Barrett Drive.

I became more convinced I'd heard thunder that Friday night a short time later when after another rumble my wife, Nancy, stuck her head in the kitchen and asked, "Was that thunder?"

A few minutes later I received confirmation that it was indeed thunder when I saw a pinkish flash outside which was accompanied a count of five seconds or so later by a rumble.

While it is no secret that one of my pastimes is lightning photography, I did not gather my "toys" and go out to “play” that night as the storm was moving way too fast and it was already raining. But hearing one of my favorite sounds of spring served as a reminder that storm-chasing season is not too far off.

The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Courier-Post.