Saturday, March 13, 2010

On and On I Go

So yesterday afternoon, working on a tip, I headed out to the backyard -- not much of a journey, I know, but it was the first time in a while I'd gotten away from the immediate porch part of the yard -- to see if the wild onion was, indeed, sticking its grass-like leaves about 2 inches out of the earth. It was:
(I know, that's a terrible picture. If it weren't raining right now, I might go out and get a better one. But it is raining, and it looks like grass anyhow, so this will have to do ya, as they say.)

The onion wasn't the only thing I found... things are getting exciting. Let's just say that nature is not a procrastinator. The snow cover has been gone less than a week, and already things are popping up, starting to get their work done. It makes sense, I guess. These plants, they have 6, 8 months at the outside, to go through a whole life cycle... they have to grow and photosynthesize, to flower and fruit and seed. They have to do it all with rabbits and bugs nipping at their flesh, and in spite of my puttering around them. That's a tall order, and I can't really blame them for wanting to get a jump on the spring. One example:
Here are the tiny shoots at the center of a Jacob's ladder. This is not the only example of baby planties I could show you, but I shall refrain. I recognize that looking at pictures of other people's baby plants is like looking at pictures of other people's baby humans. The first few photos are cute and it's great to see how much they've grown and changed... but after that, you're just being polite. (On the other hand, this being an anonymous internet thing, if you're bored, you'll click over to something else, right?)

Anyhow, in some ways, nature has put me to shame. As I walked about looking at what has decided to start its yearly work, I started to become overwhelmed. I love my gardens and like the rest of my yard, despite it being currently filled with holes like this
that some generous creature has dug for me everywhere... but they [the garden and yard, I mean] sure are a lot of work! And I looked around at the mess winter left behind that requires my attention, if it's ever dry enough to attend to it, and... well. It seems like the beginning of a long hike up a mountain. I know the scenery will be worth it in the end, but the first part, before you get above the tree line and you can't see the top, it can hurt your out-of-shape legs and be a bit discouraging. (Note about metaphor: as a person who favors plants as much as vistas, I actually don't mind the first part of the hike, but that sort of kills the concept.) But really, the ambitious flora in my life has made me feel like a lazy slug.

On the other hand... I am just so happy at the discoveries to be made, every day, multiple times a day, even. These were the best things I found,
little fungus* cups about 1 inch tall and almost 1/2 inch in diameter growing from the detritus. A whole grove of them sprung up in an area of about 1 square foot. I enjoy a good animal track mystery as much as the next person (probably more, let's be honest), but winter is just not as exhilarating as spring. I'm sorry.

*I think they're a fungus. There's certainly no evidence that they are photosynthetic like a lichen or a moss. I could look them up, but for the aforementioned lazy thing.

PS. I did, indeed, miss the snowdrops, now in full bloom. So I guess that was the first flower, but yesterday's can be the first wild flowers.

PPS. Today is seed planting day for some (not all) of our vegetables and herbs... it's all starting!!!!!

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