Tuesday, March 6, 2018


The season shifts...

One week ago I discovered the first cluster of yellow crocus blooms. They grow in a narrow strip of dirt between the house and sidewalk. This spot is much warmer than other areas as the metal wall of the house and concrete of the sidewalk absorb the intense morning sunlight, radiating the heat later.

The next day I noticed the sunny yellow winter aconite blooming, and one lonely little snowdrop. On Saturday I discovered some of the rock iris had bloomed. Today all of these blossoms were buffeted by the stiff March wind. However, one of the rock iris was held steady in the embrace of some thyme, which has not yet regained its color.

One week in and March has shown us all of its moods. It began pleasantly warm and sunny, with a little breeze, then turned moody. It gave us a cold shoulder and gloomy skies. Today its mood deepened with a blustery cold wind and snow flurries. If the forecast holds true, March will again reveal a warm and sunny disposition.
Rock iris in the arms of thyme

Ah yes, March.

We're tired of lugging wood in to feed the fire. Tired of kicking about little bits of wood and sawdust that fall off the fuel logs. Whenever the temperature begins climbing into the 50s, especially if it's sunny, we wonder, "Should we let the fire go out today?" But I hesitate because I hate being chilled. Either we keep the fire going and let it get a bit too warm inside, or let it go out and feel chilly all day.

But March has brought flowers with the winds, and a little bit of greening. Tiny cleavers are popping up and will soon be rambling among the mint. The fuzzy lamb's ear has green hearts. The elm trees are budding. Yesterday I think I saw a turkey vulture circling low over a field. The vultures left about mid-October. Their return means spring also returns. I think it was a vulture, anyway. I was certain when I saw it, briefly as we were driving home with a cord of wood in our truck -- getting ready for next winter's fires. A few yards down the road a crow flapped across the road and then I wasn't certain. But I know the shape and manner of the vulture. It had to be.

Lamb's ear begins to glow green.
Soon we should hear song birds warming up their vocal chords (do birds have vocal cords?) each morning as mating and nesting season arrives. And when I hear the first frog sing, then it will truly be spring.

But today looked a lot like winter. Tomorrow... who knows?

It is March, fickle with its moods. Tomorrow I will set out the baby cabbage plants for a couple of hours to start the hardening off process, so I can plant them in the garden in two or three weeks. Tomorrow I may put seeds of eggplant and peppers in soil filled pots to grow transplants for May. Next week it will be tomatoes. Sow cilantro seed today, spinach, maybe some lettuce and peas. Count down the days until carrots and onions can go in the ground. Spring is on its way.;

March grumbles and growls, then suddenly smiles.
The season shifts...