She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead.”
“Daffydowndilly” by A.A. Milne
I really feel the spring this year. I grew up in Southern California, which I think has a growing season about 364 days long. So the seasons here in New York are a revelation. (Though if we were to move back to California or somewhere similar, I’m sure I’d learn to see the seasons as they appear in that climate, somehow.)
We’ve been noticing how green the grass is, suddenly. It feels like I could gaze at it all day, like I’m giving my soul nutrition through it. And literally giving myself nutrition, as I munched on a few sprigs of wild garlic this morning while the kids played in the yard! We’ve also noticed lots of little mounds of disturbed soil in the grass, where worms or grubs have burrowed their way out in to the warm sunshine, or into a robin’s gullet. The kids have been rescuing lots of earthworms from the road these days.
The utter power of nature and the force of spring are apparent this year. I have watched plants grow visibly from day to day. And I mean visibly: the bleeding heart plant by our front door grew on an order of inches over the last two days. The birds are out in force. Yesterday we stood in the yard with our neighbor, watching and listening to a mockingbird sing his heart out from a tree branch. The range of sounds that bird can produce is incredible! And I feel a little thrill every time I hear him singing in the evening, a little concert to say goodnight to the sun. Napoleona and I were lucky enough to be able to watch a cardinal sing his song yesterday while he perched in a still bare bush.
Yesterday I gave myself a little more soul nutrition by doing some plant drawings from things the kids brought me from our yard. Here’s what buds from the same cherry tree as in the photo above looked like, to give you an idea of the rate of change. Note the lack of pink blossoms–it was mostly just green and brown:
These are (clockwise from the top) purple deadnettle, dandelion, yarrow, and arborvitae:
And I don’t know what any of these are except the wild garlic in the upper right, and the dandelion in the middle left. I was just enjoying the variety of leaf shapes, venation, and textures:
SillyBilly noticed how the budding stick in the last drawing had buds like little balls and the stem was dark but spotted, while the cherry stick was lighter and less spotted, and the buds were elongated. Go impromptu nature study! We’ve also noticed that the enormous skunk cabbage leaves are brightening up the edge of the brook already, and that the wild rose bushes already have leaves coming out. The maples have been rosy with their tiny flowers for about a week.
And, we’re all sniffling and waking up puffy-eyed. The only downside to all this blooming.