Sunday, February 13, 2005

Don't Tell Me The 'hog Was Right!

Friday afternoon. Clumping back from the mailbox (buried up to it's nether-regions in snowplow drift) in my snow boots. What's that? Something green and plastic on the barkdust by the front walk. Feeling vaguely happy to see a patch of barkdust with all the snow melted off. Stoop to see what bit of toy is sitting there and....????.....!!!!!!

It is neither a toy nor is it plastic.

It is green and filled with chlorophyll and GROWING!

It is the nose of a bulb. 5 noses to be exact.

Oh, hush. Yes, you, all those I love in points temperate. Things just do not peek up here before mid-March. The brave and early bulbs bloom the end of March and into early April. By mid April, though, we have leaves on the trees and everything is in flower. It looks like a damn Breck's catalogue with crocuses blooming next to tulips next to peonies. I used to mock such photos. No more. In Portland spring stretches over 5 months. Here it is around a month, start to finish.

At our weekly lunch date, Tuesday before last, I even tee-heed my close friend, Diane, who admitted she had gone looking in her yard for any sign of sprouting. Jane and I smiled in sympathy at her wishful and completely wasteful tour, noting she had almost 2 months before she could expect to see anything to give her hope. She hung her head and agreed. It was just she was getting a bit tired of all the winter. And she a lifelong Midwesterner.

We then launched into a discussion of whether we should wish for the groundhog to see its shadow or not (it was groundhog day tomorrow) as 6 more weeks of winter would actually be an early spring. At the end of lunch, we had not reached consensus and went back to work.

Groundhog day dawned gray. No shadow. Early spring.

Yesterday was sunny and 40's. Today it is pouring down rain and there are patches of brown everywhere. And lots and lots of standing water.

Suddenly, I feel like bursting into song and ordering mulch. Can't keep a good gardener down.



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