I am thinking about this spring, and how odd it has been. Coltsfoot, that early warning flower that tells us spring is around the corner, usually blooms in late February in my region; it is soon followed by wild plum, with wild cherry quickly following along. The pear tree is usually blooming in late March with the forsythia and daffodils.
This year none of that happened. Here we are in mid-April and still waiting for the apple trees, redbud and dogwood to burst forth. I'm not complaining, I'm just thinking it's....strange.
Last summer after the derecho my asparagus suddenly sent up new shoots. These plants were done for the year, or so I thought, but in late July we had a surprise crop of new asparagus. The amaryllis, which usually only blooms in the winter because I follow the instructions for its care to make that happen, also sent up new blossoms after that terrible storm. And the peppermint, died back completely instead of continuing on to its blossom stage.
All of which makes me wonder: has the weather, and the plants' reaction to it, always been this out-of-whack and I just never noticed? Have I come to expect certain things of nature because that's that way it's always been, or is nature getting a little wild these days and the "usual" patterns becoming disrupted and confusing?
Like many other people, I used to give that knowing smile when old-timers talked about weather and how bad it was back when. Now I'm an old-timer myself--rather surprising, that--and I find myself harking back to what was and comparing what is to my memories of the past. I understand now the mystification of the older ones at some of the changes they could not comprehend. While I can hang on by my toenails to social change (and don't really care if I get behind the times) nature has me bumfuzzled. She's being, at least in my view, mighty tempermental and unreliable.
I am hoping to hear the whippoorwill soon; at least then I can feel fairly sure that freezing weather is past. The redwing blackbird is back, but the snowbirds are hanging on and that makes me nervous. The oaks are leafing out too, and when their leaves are the size of squirrels' ears it is supposed to be safe to plant corn. But with the oddities of the spring weather so far, I am wondering if even these ancient souls can be trusted.
Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.