- Willows in Huntington’s town park ignore freezing blustery gales. Spring rushed in on unusual warmth following a mild fall and winter. Now that crocuses show only green leaves, daffodils wave in the breeze, and cherries are in bloom, nature has slowed the pace. What seem to be snowflakes driven by fierce winds are actually petals ripped from tree blossoms.
- Much of life involves managing expectations. Perhaps that is one reason TV weather forecasters love exaggeration. Expecting a blizzard and receiving a few inches is a kind of present, while expecting a calm day and finding that same snow can be depressing. In that sense, early April is one long deception, with predictions about as useful as wooden nickels. But as the saying goes, if you don’t like it now, wait a few minutes.
Confounding truths I thought I knew
But also webbed in all of this
- Water can serve as a moderating influence during temperature swings. Harborside generally blooms later than a few miles inland, but on the other hand it is rarely blasted when infrequent deep frost settles in from the Arctic for a few nights. Nevertheless, temperatures in the low twenties can rupture cell structures, even for these weeds. In a few days new growth will shoot up _ that’s part of being a weed, after all.
- Hard time of year to be a farmer (well, being a farmer is always hard.) Early fruit blossoms look wonderful, but such frost can kill many of the blooms and reduce the apple, pear, peach, and cherry crops significantly. Unlike weeds, tree blossoms are one-shot each season; once lost the chance for fruit is gone. As climate changes, people can huddle in houses, but perhaps the most dire effects outside of droughts are the massive storms, high winds, and sudden temperature variations. We can live through most weather, but not if there is nothing to eat.
We laughed at each other a
gain and continued our opposite ways on a morning that was apparently totally different for each of us.
- Nature seems almost suspended, as forsythias and daffodils remain in full bloom, tulips advance slowly green upward, and early azaleas are hesitantly swelling buds. Each walk on each day seems identical. It had been thus, of course, each winter day, but expectations of activity are high now. Weather is far warmer than it had been, but far colder than impatiently desired.
- There is no garden work to be done. Just wait a little while and storms will break, I tell myself. Just keep walking and enjoying and looking. But it almost seems a personal conspiracy of elemental forces, suggesting I use this rather as an end of hibernation, finishing reading and whatever, before rushing off. I should accept this all gracefully. I am not saintly enough.
- As often at this time of year, outside beckons. Birds flit madly about the seeds in the birdfeeder. Squirrels pursue their incessant chases and frolics. The sky is wonderfully blue, at least when clouds temporarily part long enough to see it. Sunsets linger into evening, instead of rushing by in the afternoon.
- Time to change the wardrobe and rush out. And then, I step into the cold, feel the raw damp draining all my warmth and good spirits. Often I merely content myself with a few minutes of staring from the porch, perhaps a short stroll to see what’s going on in the front yard, and then back to waiting for what should be better times. A great time to develop meditation and philosophy. Unfortunately, that brilliant sun keeps distracting me.