IT’S GETTING GREENER DOWN BY THE CANAL

It was beautiful yesterday, one of the nearly perfect spring days with which New England is occasionally gifted. Spring isn’t our best — or even second-best — season.

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It’s usually very short, often going from winter to summer in just a day or two. Sometimes, you barely have time to buy a pair of shorts when yesterday’s 40 degrees turns to ninety or more, with humidity to match.

We are having a reasonably good spring this year. There have been a few setbacks. The couple of early snows in April did some damage to the blooming daffodils, but I hope not permanent damage. The flowering trees are showing young leaves. Here, in our woods and along the rivers and canal, the trees are in bud, but not leaf. Hardwood — oaks and maples, sassafras, ash and others — are the last to fill out. Mid May, usually, though the maples may be a week earlier this year. Our trees are mostly bare.

The forsythia is flowering. The lilacs are full of leaves, but no flowers yet.

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Soon. It’s lovely today. Warm and sunny and delicious. The earth is awake and everything is greening up.

CONTRAST: SPRING TO WINTER AND BACK AGAIN

CONTRAST: SPRING TO WINTER AND BACK AGAIN IN LESS THAN A WEEK

It’s snowing again today. Like yesterday, but more steadily. A fine, dry snow that means business. None of the fat, wet flakes that are decorative, but frivolous — for snow. We had a veterinarian appointment today for Gibbs and Bonnie.

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I looked out the window, realized I was not going to even try wrangling two Scotties into the car, then drive on slippery roads (they don’t plow this time of year; they let nature take its course) for an hour (usually half an hour; longer with ice and snow).

Especially since it’s not an emergency visit. It can wait a week.

weather map

It’s gotten cold out there. Yesterday felt like joke, not to be taken seriously. Temperature rose into the forties before the snow stopped falling. Essentially, it was all gone before nightfall.

Not today.

Today it has that grey, grim sky thing happening that say “I’m gonna get you, sucker!”

When I called the vet, I started by saying “I bet you won’t be surprised when I say I’d like to reschedule today’s appointments.”

“Not at all,” she said. She was laughing.

Weather report

“This is so wrong,” I said.

“I know,” she said. “It’s like Mother Nature felt that winter wasn’t bad enough, so she decided to give us a bit more, just so we didn’t feel cheated.”

A couple of days ago, my woods looked ready to bloom.

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March 31, 2016

March 30, 2016

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April 2, 2016

The forsythia were beginning to bloom.

Now … how about today and yesterday?

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The Vernal Equinox came. You can’t argue with the Equinox. It happens and the earth literally shifts into the tilt towards warm weather. Polar Vortex, be gone! Your time has passed.

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By next weekend, it will be over, finally and fully.

A week from today, the Red Sox will open their season at Fenway Park. Play ball!

SNOW? REALLY? SERIOUSLY?

What? It’s spring, isn’t it? Just yesterday, I was looking at the fat buds on the daffodils and noticing that the forsythia has started blooming.

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It was hard to believe the forecast. Snow? Really? High winds? Really? Easter is over. Is this a joke?

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More is expected tomorrow. After that, can we please settle down and “do spring?” Like a normal place?

SPRING IS SPRUNG

Ode to Spring

“Spring has sprung,

The Grass has riz,

I wonder where the flowers is?

The little bird is on the wing,

But that’s absurd!

Because the wing is on the bird!”

A ditty by Unknown

It will be near 70 degrees tomorrow. That’s 21 in Celsius, by the way. Weather just doesn’t get nicer than this.

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This is it. We wait for it all year. We dream of it while we shovel tons of snow and wash the residue of salt from our car’s under-body.

Solomon's Seal

Solomon’s Seal

We yearn for it through mud season while mopping the mess off the floors. Will winter never end? Will spring never come?

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Winter ended.

Spring came.

I wonder where the flowers is?

EARLY GREEN

March is not particularly green, at least not in New England. It’s a fickle month with warm days, cold nights, sudden thaws and freezes … and of course, snowstorms. Just to remind us who’s really in charge.

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Two days ago …

Today, I went looking for signs of green and found a few.

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The trees are bare, but fat buds are beginning to appear — a promise of leaves to come.

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But there’s more. On the ground, despite two snows in the past few days (and another on the way), the day lilies are coming up.

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A huge number of them are several inches out of the ground forming a blanket in the garden in the backyard.

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They are looking very enthusiastic! I’m expecting a great year for the lilies.

DROP, DROP, DROP

DROP

It is raining. It has been raining hard and steadily for two days — so far. According to the forecast, it is going to continue to do this for at least a week. After which, there’s a good chance we’ll have a short break followed by more rain.

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It’s mud season in New England.

This is not unusual. March is traditional mud and flood season. A combination of melting snow and spring rains turns the ground to goo. Mold grows on every surface. Did you know that vinyl siding can grow green with mold? It can and does.

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This year, we have no melting snow, but we are getting plenty of rain. We need the rain. (Rain is good. OM.)

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Although I am painfully aware of just how badly we need water to refill rivers, ponds, and the aquifer, a lot of rain in a very short time makes life difficult.

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The good news about rain? You don’t have to shovel it. When it’s over, usually that’s the whole story. The flowers and other plants love and need it. It refills our wells.  Our water pressure gets better when the well is full.

The bad news?

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Mud. Yucky, sucking black mud. With many paws coming in and out of the house, the amount of dirt is impressive. It doesn’t take long to make our living room floor suitable for planting.

If the rain continues with enthusiasm for a long time, the valley will flood. The rivers rise over their banks and try to eat the towns. This is a river valley in which every town is built along one or more rivers, so it’s messy.

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Basements flood. We’ve got a system of French drains as well as a sump and a pump. In recent years, this has been enough to keep the water outside, but if it gets bad enough … well, it goes to show you never can tell.

Anyone who has ever been in a flood knows what I mean. You can’t hold back water.

It starts with a drop, continues with millions upon millions of drops. After which, there is the mud.