Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dance of Spring

The dance of spring continues in our Northland. It’s a strange dance this year.

The past weekend was mild. It led us to believe spring was at last falling in step with us. 

We figured it was heeding, none too soon, our desire to get to the warm weather. We're so ready to put the gray, wet, cool days behind us.

Our hopes, rising on the weekend tease of good weather, cooled as quickly as the jet stream which followed. 

A punch of air from Canada is keeping us below average this week by several degrees.

Average temperatures are high 60s. We’d give plenty for a seventy-degree day. We can only imagine it as we hunker down for the dash to the Memorial Day holiday.  

Temperatures not compliant with our wishes, we scout out other ways to feel the assurance of spring.

Greening is well underway. The grass is what we’re really noticing, but the tiny leaves on the trees are starting to unfurl.

Last week the leafing was barely perceptible. Branches wore their buds like miniature gloves.

A boxelder tree on my driving route last week was the exception. 

The boxelder struck me as one who hurries and dresses as if for a party that, at no costs, it wants to miss.

As useless a tree as people declare boxelders to be, let’s give the tree its due. It was decked out in green well ahead of the rest.

In other signs of spring, lakes are open and the boats are out. Plentiful rain has caused creeks to rush along. High water levels are turning lakes, or some bays of lakes, into no-wake zones.

This doesn’t impact sailboats, which have been on the lakes since ice-out. Sails create a calming effect as you take them in. Sails are one of my favorite sights on the lakes.

This is the time of year when every day brings change in nature. You have to look quickly or miss it. It’s like our apricot tree.

The apricot tree in our yard is in blossom. I watch for it every year.

Last week the apricot buds were negligible. You needed a microscope to ascertain they were there.

If you made a point of seeing them you could. They were like baby pink marshmallows on a lollipop stick. One moment barely discernible, the next they’re an image of glory. 

The concentrated blossoming is like a cupful of pink kernels popped in the air popper. These popped to perfection.

The apricot blooms are magnificent. They’re pinkish white, large and cottony. You could mistake them for a perfect batch of popcorn.

The blooming almost always happens behind our backs. You turn away and the miracle of blossoming is there on our return.

Outside scenes daily evolve into the fuller state of the season. Buds become leaves, goslings paddle behind their parents on the ponds and blue robin eggs hatch in their nests.

Everywhere you look there’s something to note that lifts the heart.

Sunny days, which have evened out the periods of rain, are made for doing and appreciating. 

Yard work is going on at our place. There’s raking and picking up of twigs and branches. Shaping up the garden for planting is underway.

Residential blocks are brightened by the plants from the nurseries coming home with us.

Lilacs, on the other hand, are absent. They’re another of the seasonal blooms with a late start.  We often have the fragrance of their blooms by Mother’s Day but they held off this year.

The lilac bushes, however, are greening right along. The blooms will be here shortly, and with them their intoxicating scent.

Even as we dig in the soil or hang our pots or put out the wind chimes the joy for some of us is more than the present satisfaction of being in touch with nature.

Spring then gets to be, as much as anything, dreaming and planning for summer. 

This is certainly true for those of us who thrive on heat, days of long light and change of activity pace.

Green-up time in Minnesota is precious. It’s short-lived and this adds to the sense of the season running through our fingers.

The dance of spring deepens into the profound loveliness of summer.

With that said, there’s never the first gentle aspect of tender spreading softness in nature as it makes known to us in May. 

Ro Giencke – May 14, 2014


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