Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Oaky-dokey, it's Spring!

Welcome to Spring in Minnesota's central St. Croix River Valley. Last night's snow showers left this morning's countryside looking like a powdered donut. If there's any accuracy in the weather forecast, there'll be no sign of snow in a few days. In fact, it's already melted from the South-facing, sunny slopes in the yard. According to recent reports, despite occasional setbacks, Spring this year is shaping up as arriving even earlier than Spring 2012, whose premature arrival resulted in some significant problems.

March snow shower powders fields
March snow shower powders fields
Photo by J. Harrington

Meanwhile, inside the house, the hyacinths on the window sill are in full bloom. The crocuses (croci?) are being shy and look like they won't be in flower for at least several days more. I'm developing an obsessive compulsion to see and hear flowing water (the Sunrise River pools are more lakelike than streamlike) and see and smell (forced) forsythia in bloom. I get like this almost every Spring, antsy to hear the mating songs of frogs and the singing of crickets while still there remains an abysmal number of last year's oak leaves clinging to their branches.

Spring's increasing warmth hasn't yet caused all of this year's oak buds to swell enough to force the leaf stems to release. Unlike recalcitrant oak leaves, longer days have triggered a growing restlessness in me to get more active, get out, float around and see what's going on. That may help explain yesterday's ambitious pruning of some branches that were partially blocking the view North from the end of the driveway. Even when using pruning sealant, I like to prune oaks during Winter to minimize oak wilt threat (the guidance doesn't clarify whether it refers to meteorological Spring or astronomical Spring). At least one of them has now arrived and I'm grateful.

March



Sky a shook poncho.
Roof   wrung. Mind a luna moth
Caught in a banjo.

This weather’s witty
Peek-a-boo. A study in
Insincerity.

Blues! Blooms! The yodel
Of   the chimney in night wind.
That flat daffodil.

With absurd hauteur
New tulips dab their shadows
In water-mutter.

Boys are such oxen.
Girls! — sepal-shudder, shadow-
Waver. Equinox.

Plums on the Quad did
Blossom all at once, taking
Down the power grid.



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