Monday, March 12, 2007

The Good, Bad and Ugly Faces of Spring

This sure is a time of hope. After the long dark winter, each year these longer, warmer, breezier days just fill me with possibilities and new energy. I find myself bounding outside, as I did Saturday to rake all those sticks off of part of the back yard, sweep all the accumulated branches off the roof, and clean out the chicken coop. Somehow it always surprises me, this quickening in all my muscles and the lift that the sunshine brings to my spirits.

These little snowdrops are always the first flowers of spring and just always sneak up on me with unexpected beauty. How brave they are, sliding out from under last fall's dead leaves.

The next picture is the ugly and the bad of spring. The dirty, slippery nasty ice that hangs on as long as it can. Our driveway is bordered on the south by huge old evergreens, so the sun never touches the driveway until it's provided weeks of scarey mess in the form of slowly melting ice, giving way to gluey mud. Nasty.

But the best of spring just keeps going. Out in the garden, where there's more sun, we've already covered the raised bed with plastic, shoveled out the snow, and planted the cold-tolerant crops.

In the background, you can see the beehive, very busy these days as those little workers scurry in and out, looking hopefully for anything blooming this early. As I move around the place and wander the woods, I frequently am buzzed by these little busy bees, hurrying around looking for pollen. The barred owls are at it too, frantically whooo hooooing their mating calls in the evening air. We haven't seen any sign of the big cat recently, but four deer ambled through the woods last niight.

Under that cover, nestled in the rich black dirt, lie carefully scattered seeds of Bibb lettuce, Romaine lettuce, spinach, beets and marigolds. I'm stretching it a bit, I believe only the lettuces will honestly take off, but Spring holds such promise, I just can't help offering more seeds to the chance to grow with the kiss of this gently promising sun. Keep your fingers crossed with me, and soon, we'll crunch on salads with the green freshness of the most hopeful, blessed season of the year.

This is the good face of Spring, with all that promise surrounded by rapidly melting pools of snow. Promises everywhere--life indeed, is very good.