May Mix

By average statistics, May _ not April _ is the rainiest month for Long Island.
  • Spring can be frustrating on Long Island. Ocean waters which moderate summers and extend fall overlay fog and chill even as inland areas warm quickly.  For residents, the season brings hyperbolic hopes and overwrought disappointments.

No need for abstract paintings when wet flagstones shine through overlaid maple spinners sown by strong thunderstorm winds.
  • By mid-May, the visual tease has climaxed.  Early floral bulbs have popped and vanished.  Most trees are in full leaf.  Shrubs are violently displaying colors, birds have aggressively nested, grass demands to be mown.  Human cycles require a return of noisy yard crews and extensive beginning building renovation.  Birdsong fills perfumed air, chipmunks are out of hibernation, bumblebees lurch overhead.  And yet _ each morning is often clammy and dark, some noons never rise above fifty degrees, and rain arrives more frequently than trains to the city.  Meanwhile, summer visions sparkle in all imaginations.

Geese aggressively defensive with newly hatched goslings and they do not care if you are big or not.
  • Each day delivers impossible, beautiful, affirming change.  Animals _ including humans _ are in love and ready for love.  Ducks have paired off, swans have hatched grey cygnets, squirrels chase mates around the yard.  Fish begin their annual cycles, while osprey swoop overhead determined to find food for their families.  Turtles at Hecksher pond climb into a warming sun on island banks.  A season of saturated hormones, as life continues its primary business of continuation.  A stroll through parks and malls reveals people young and old holding hands or enviously looking at those who do.

Abundant wisteria drapes trees everywhere, an unusual purple in landscape filled with red, pink, green, and white.
  • More practical inhabitants begin chores and check off chore lists.  Maritime areas are frenzied with boats splashing into water, docks and pilings undergoing repair, buoys anchored in place after onshore winter storage.  Garden centers stack fertilizer and soil conditioners, while at home remaining layers of leaves are removed from flower beds.  Tree trimmers frantically chainsaw old branches before heavy new foliage makes such tasks much harder.  And there are always the repairs to buildings and roads after harsh snowy winter.

Bleeding hearts have been appropriate on nasty wet mornings, but will soon depart as the warm weather arrives for good.
  • On relatively mild days, children are sprung loose as if a dam burst.  The playground is filled with noise and rushing small bodies.  But it is all so new, so welcome, that even the oldest grumps are not complaining at all the commotion. 

May is an active working month for our maritime industries; barges and floating cranes are a common sight.
  • Spring in Huntington.  Not Paris, perhaps _ well, not Paris, certainly _ but magical enough to cause even the most depressed misanthrope to smile in spite of himself.

Azaleas in full glory, unfortunately cut short by a week of cold drizzle and thunderous downpours.

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