Saturday, April 19, 2008

Transitions

Yesterday a dear neighbor and I ventured off our rocky ridge and descended down to the Connecticut River valley. For a few moments we were as stunned as if the Land of Oz stretched out before us. The weeping willows along the riverbank were festooned in long chartreuse ribbons of tiny new leaves, the forsythia was blinding in its chrome yellow splendor and the exotically beautiful magnolias were just beginning to bloom….
We are about three weeks behind at our 1100 ft. altitude, not exactly Alpine I admit, but just enough over the line to make a big difference. From our understated grey and brown hills, now and then highlighted with the subtle mauve of maple buds and dusty puffs of white birch flowers, to the floral extravagance of the valley seemed tropical and decadent simultaneously.
Even in the hills it reached 80 degrees yesterday and today promises the same.This is not the normal transition.80 is more of a June temperature than April...
I put up the screens last night, opened the windows and happily slept with fresh air, the first songs of the little Spring frogs called “Peepers” and the otherworldly commentary from courting barred owls wafting into my bedroom. Heaven…
Mudseason, our regional “bonus” season for surviving a strenuous winter, is officially over and I must say despite the deep drifts and thanks to a remarkable road crew that constantly groomed our dirt roads, it was not too bad. Sometimes just getting to the grocery store 12 miles away is an Indiana Jones experience when parts of the road become the consistency of cookie dough and you literally have to go with the flow, helplessly pulled from side to side! It can be quite the adrenalin rush!

The first butterfly has been spotted…it may have been a queen Monarch or a Fritillary.It was a lovely shade of orange but not quite as vibrant as the male Monarch.
I think Icaught a glimpse of the first hummingbird that usually buzzes by my studio window around April 28th. It may have been a shy little pine siskin visiting the birdbath. I only saw a quick tiny bird silhouette at dusk. I must get some nectar mix for them today, as the only meager natural offerings are five lavender-striped crocus flowers.
Now I can wash the layers of the mud off my formerly black car, that has been a demure shade of bisque for weeks and also take off the noisy studded snow tires for another year…
Yes, let me slip on my flip-flops and head out the door back down to civilization.
It is so odd to know its 80 degrees, I’m going out in flip-flops, and my daffodils are still beneath 8 inches of snow!
Wishing you all the pleasures of the season wherever you may be!

1 comment:

rachel said...

I just came in from my brilliant yellow daffodil garden -- now I'm looking through the window at bare gray branches blowing in a rising wind. Managed to get the cats in only by opening yet another can. Voles are so much more interesting. But this season is the best. Transitions are much more fun than being there.