This week we are talking about our favorite signs of Spring.
I could stop right there.
I grew up in a beautiful part of the country, or what had been a beautiful part. The Washington, DC area is vastly built-up, but the areas surrounding are beautiful, the greens are lush, the trees bountiful, the shrubs lovely, flowers common. Parks and open areas are beautiful, with forests filled with trees and undergrowth, so much so that when friends in Colorado took their children back east into real woods, the kids were afraid to put their feet down into the depths of the plants on the forest floor.
I moved from there to southeastern Idaho, which is basically desert. There were forests to the north, west and south, but none nearby. The trees were few and far between, and all went dull yellow in the Fall. There wasn’t much but the blue-green of the sagebrush, the alfalfa full of locusts and the greening of the potato fields in the Spring.
On to Colorado, which I enjoyed. I found that unlike my brown thumb for indoor plants, I could really grow flowers and vegetables outside. Early in the year, I watched for my crocus and daffodils to come up, and they would promptly be snowed upon. I’d have to wait until after my bushes started to leaf and my vines to green for a while before I’d bother to go to my favorite nursery for annual flowers and vegetables, mostly for container gardening. I loved that nursery! But signs of Spring? It could be incredibly warm in February and then snow until May. In the mountains, some years there were only two full months without snow. No clear signs. As someone said to me when I lamented the lack of four seasons there, “We have four seasons, Tonette, they’re just interchangeable.”
Now, here I am in Kentucky. I confess that I was severely disappointed in the lack of brightness in the Autumn foliage, but the Springs are quite lovely! With all the trees and all the fields, we start to see GREEN, and it lightens the soul.
The Winters here are dull and grayish brown; even the evergreens are Cedars, which become very drab. Trips in and out of town, driving along the highways, are dull between late November and March, but, OH, what a difference as soon as Spring hits! Often before the leaves start to show, there are flowering trees everywhere.
Misnamed Redbuds, (which flower purple), line the roads, their branches reach outward between other trees, almost to show their flowers off to the passers-by.
Dogwoods are also scattered throughout the wooded areas along the roads and many people have white, light pink or salmon-colored Dogwoods flowering in their yards.
Tulip Poplars are in the woods nearby. There are remnants of orchards which still bloom. Many people have flowering Cherry and Crabapple trees making a show in front of their houses. And despite the fact that they are top-heavy and often fall over, people here insist on planting Bradford Pears, which blossom so profusely that when we have a Spring storm, the petals make it look like it is snowing.
Yet, as much as I love to see the blossoms, (which are already starting), it’s the return of the green that immediately evokes feelings of calmness and hope in me.
It hasn’t quite gotten here yet, but I am waiting with great anticipation this year.