Monday, March 20, 2006

Signs of Spring


A cluster of daffodils sprouted boldly in my garden a few weeks ago during a warm spell. They've paused, but not retreated, with the return of the cold weather. The tightly rounded ends of the flower stalks are in the first stages of pregnancy, preparing to bloom when the warmth returns.

One of my tulip bulbs has sent up a single broad leaf, only half emerged from the ground. It looks for all the world like a green rabbit's ear, cocked and listening for the robins and spring peepers to say it's OK to come out and play.

Last week I heard a woodpecker pounding on a dead tree in the woods behind my house, defining his turf and warning all of the other woodpeckers to stay away. The robins (who don't really leave in the winter, they just flock up and retreat quietly into the woods) are stirring and they're starting to pair off. Soon we'll see the first nests being built, and we'll hear them fending off the jays as they tend their eggs.

The spring peepers were calling one balmy evening last week, possibly the very first sound of spring each year. I heard them again on the way to work the next day. They're quiet tonight, the first official night of spring per the calendar - did I hear someone mention snow? Can't last long though, can it? Not with the days getting longer and longer. They'll be back soon (the peepers). Can't keep a good tree frog down.

As much as I like winter (I'm strange that way), I look forward to spring, to the greening up of the world. I love the luscious, wet verdure of the mosses and the spring grasses, so thick and rich and soft to the touch. I feel like I wake up with the flowerbeds and stretch my limbs with the trees. I'm Snow White awakening from a long foggy trance, or Proserpina emerging from the dark realm.

One spring several years ago, there was a woodpecker who took it upon himself to pound out a tattoo like a gatling gun on the metal gutter by our bedroom each morning - bright and early, of course. Nature's little alarm clock. He really was just a few feet from my bed, with nothing but a flimsy tract-home wall between us. He'd take off as soon as I opened the window, but he always came back the next day. Can't wait to see who sets up shop in my yard this spring. I think they're already hanging out their signs.

6 comments:

Virginia Gal said...

I love spring - lets get through this last winter storm and be done with it!

MissMagnoliaThunderpussy said...

This Spring promises to be ecpecially good, with a bumper crop of weddings and funerals in store, I guess I'll be very busy cruising the Nursing Homes for old meat!

MissMagnoliaThunderpussy said...

Darling, I have two favorite songs about Spring.

Spring will be a little late this year
A little late arriving, in my lonely world over here
For you have left me and where is our April love old
Yes you have left me and winter continues cold
As if to say that spring will be a little slow to start
A little slow reviving that music it made in my heart
Time heals all things, so I needn’t cling to this fear
It’s merely that spring will be a little late this year

And the second ...

Spring is here
Why doesn't my heart go dancing?
Spring is here
Why isn't the waltz entrancing?
No desire,
No ambition leads me
Maybe it's because nobody needs me

Spring is here
Why doesn't the breeze delight me?
Stars appear
Why doesn't the night invite me?
Maybe it's because nobody loves me Spring is here, I fear.

PaxRomano said...

Merci,
That was a beautiful posting, probably one of my faves ... let's have one real big snowstorm, and then the next day it should warm up and spring should just take over with it's balmy days and nights...

Joe Tornatore said...

that was no woodpecker. it was a construction crew in Hammonton.

Merci said...

Virginia Gal-
We only had flurries out of that storm. It seems to be warming up here. Must be really nice in the DC area.

Miss Magnolia-
I have been to hospitals and funeral homes galore in my professional capacity the last couple of days, so I agree with your prognosis for spring. They weren't the nursing homes of choice for the finest old meat, however. Your standards would be much higher!

Your spring songs brought a tear to my eye. I'm virtually bipolar, what with the laugh over the old meat followed by the tears over the sad songs. Hope your spring is much better than those described in the lyrics!

Pax-
I second the motion for one more snowfall. I feel cheated this year. But I still love spring. Saw some ferns just starting to emerge from the ground by my mailbox today.

Joe-
NO... NO.... (makes sign of cross to ward off evil). PLEASE no more construction crews! Today was the worst. Had to park out back because they threatened to pave the parking lot today (all they did was rope it off, as far as I could see). When I tried to go out the back door, I caught the overspray from the POWERWASHER they were using to take the paint off of the ramp back there. Had to go back through the office and walk the long way around the building. It stinks!