Lovely porch to view opening forsythia if you’re wearing a parka.
- Having become certain that I understand the new destructive patterns of the world more completely, it has been refreshing to be reminded that surprises continue. After long spells of drought, higher than normal temperatures, calamities predicted, there have occurred months of low temperatures, snow, rain, and gloom. An unexpected normal, at least for what used to be considered normal.
- I believe climate is changing ferociously, and industrial activity is at fault. I do not believe it will wipe out all the species on the planet (we are doing that quite well on our own.) Humans will cope, as they always have, as they did through surprisingly swift and devastating climactic changes over the last two thousand years.
- The oceans may be a different story, as they continue to absorb immense quantities of CO2 and limit the damage we perceive. As for the rest …
- I don’t know. I have today, and the last few months, and it has been unusually chilled and my old bones do not appreciate that as they should. In any case, I remain unsure of my predictions, after being been corrected so thoroughly by natural reality.
- Dandelions prove reliable indicators of spring. Sometimes they bloom late into the fall, but I’ve never seen one in February or earliest March. The first is a welcome sight, popping up on dirt tracks or unmown lawns, bright yellow amidst otherwise pale hues. And then they just keep blooming and blooming and blooming. Each individual flower is marvelous, each fluffy seed head dreamlike.
- Around here they’re regarded as pests. Much money is spent keeping them at bay chemically on lawns, and nobody dares or cares to make dandelion wine, which I’ve heard is not as excellent as its name. I admit that after a few months they fade from notice in my own mind, and I pay little attention to them until fall again marks their prominence. Their very abundance detracts from their appreciation _ a lot like water.
- Like a watched pot of boiling water, spring lawns never seem to be growing until they are suddenly deep, ragged, and bushy
- Our minds are filled with symbolic archetypes such as a tree represented by a green ball on top of a brown stick. “Spring” recalls a single perfect day with birds singing and daffodils blooming and us lying happily in green grass feeling a somewhat chill breeze in pleasantly warm sunshine. Perhaps another day of gentle rain flicking off brilliant pink azaleas.
- But spring is a whole season, filled with events great and small, usually running out of synchronization with our calendar beliefs. My mind has it laid out as a formal ballet, beginning sometime in late February, like Tchaikovsky’s dance of the flowers _ a progression of floral displays, average temperatures progressing, leaves unfolding on trees. A calm and orderly three months.
- Last year, I seem to remember (but I am old and who knows?) it was like that. This year will be more compressed, running fast-forward for a while as lingering hibernations try to catch up. I am arrogant enough to even resent that they will force me to adapt to their pace with all my outdoor chores already behind my perfect visions. On the other hand, at least we are arriving at some fine days at last.
- In completely residential areas, the notion of “native,” “wild,” and “introduced” becomes murky and meaningless. There are no undisturbed soils nearby, no virgin forest, no connected tracts of ancient lands. Amidst the houses, lawns, and dense road networks, all uncultivated plants equally eke out a living on marginalized forgotten areas, temporarily open spaces, or overtrodden parks. So my distinction (applied only to those species which do not need direct human intervention to survive year by year) becomes more one of “weed,” “native,” and “semi-wild.”
- By that standard I can count roses, forsythia and crocuses as semi-wild. They escape quite well and thrive in local habitats, even though I suspect that if people were to vanish entirely they might disappear a few centuries thereafter. But in the meantime, I come across patches of crocuses in secluded forest glens, roses surprising me almost anywhere, and forsythia marking the sites of former estates. I would like to be considered akin to them, but alas I myself require too much cultivation and ongoing care.
A reverie only partially fantasy.
No matter what, I must have fun.