Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Just as our winter seemed to observe the first of December, so our spring arrived with April.

Milder temps have been with us since Friday, rising into and through the 60s. Yesterday we had two weeks' worth of rain in a few hours. Right now the preceding season's chill is making a brief return, but we've turned the corner, I think.

The songbirds are back, our lawn is greening and the neighbor's forsythia is in bloom. Hyacinths are up by the front steps and daffodils glow at the edge of the woods. An insistent breeze, missing its icy edge, carries a train's horn and hymn tunes. (If you ask me, everyone should live within earshot of a carillon and railroad tracks.)

Springtime isn't a spectator sport, of course. Our vegetable garden-to-be begs to be tilled and planted. Shrubbery and flower beds must be weeded and mulched. If we want our crabapple tree to survive another year, it should be pruned before it blooms.

Over the winter, weighty ice and snow brought down a fair number of branches, which I piled behind the garage -- those need to be bucked and added to our humble woodpile.

I'll sharpen shovels and hoes and cutting tools, and I'll give our walk-behind mower a once-over in anticipation of seven months' duty. The work will begin this weekend.

All work and no play? Hardly. A few days ago I liberated my motorcycle from its winter storage. Battery freshly charged, it started on the first try -- no drama whatsoever.

I haven't yet completed the annual ritual by taking the bike out for the first ride of the season, but that'll happen soon. I'm thinkin' Saturday.

[The image above is from ABC of Victory Gardens, published in 1943 by the USDA.]