Monday, March 19, 2012

Early Spring

The first crocus bloomed almost a month before the equinox this year, snowdrops and hellebore a month earlier. In the first three weeks of March, iris reticulata, daffodils, scilla, periwinkle, forsythia, hyacinths, windflowers, dog-toothed violets, corydalis, bloodroot and trillium sprang up.

Nearly all the bulbs are blooming, even the late-season flowers. High temperatures approached 80°F most of last week. The air smells like sunlight on hyacinths. The crocus and snowdrops are done. Bumblebees are working. Ticks are out. April has staged a coup on March. Chloris and Maia outrace Artemis.

The redbuds showed tiny black knots on their branches last week. Three days before the equinox the buds were dark red. Yesterday morning they were deep purple; by afternoon they were in bloom. 

This morning the sky slowly filled with clouds, building dark and high from the west. Crows began to shout. Cardinals, blue jays, titmice, chickadees and a couple of red-bellied woodpeckers dived on the feeders. The young green of elms shone against deepening sky. As the rain began, the air turned from gold to silver. 

I can’t remember a year when spring arrived so early, so suddenly, so completely. I remember invoking Flora under cold rain at the equinox two years ago. We had intended to deck her with flowers, but the best we could manage were a few crocuses. No matter. This spring she has decked the woods with blossom.

Tomorrow is the equinox.


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