Sunday, May 1, 2016

Where to Start

This blog started years ago so asking a "Where to Start" seems unnecessary and even out of line.  The university and school district set the opening date, the teachers start the term with introductions, explanations of the class and the beginning of the text.  Are do they?  There are prescribed starting for some events.

I've been thinking for years about noting and recording what events in nature occur on what dates.  When did the first daffodil bloom?  When were the different fruit trees most susceptible to good pollination?  And what was the weather at that time?  Or the number of bees heard and seen at that time?  How much rain did we get in April?  Or May?

On what day do I start that journaling?  January first, a day arbitrarily chosen in continuous cycle?  The first day of winter or summer, dates set by natural phenomena?  Or my birthday, May seventh; why not?  Or just when I have the whim to do so?

Perhaps the last option is most organic and natural for me personally.  So today is the day.  Today has another feature we can build on; I planted the peas, the first seeds in the garden.

Spring has been atypical so far.  We have shattered temperature records several days reaching 90 degrees far before ever before.  Plants, weeds, flowers, and trees are all following suit; they seem early.  The hot days tempt gardeners to start gardening and even set tomatoes out, but wise gardeners know that cooler weather and even frost can still come later this month.

Today is May first, called May Day by many and a national holiday in Russia.  After two snaps of super warm temperatures, the last three days have been cool, overcast and with small rain showers.  Yesterday began a warmer stretch leading to about 80˚F today and warmer tomorrow followed by a forecasted week of 70's and warm showers.

The daffodils have done their annual task, they've bloomed and gave room for other flowers.  The tulips weren't far behind although I saw a fresh bloom yesterday.  Forget-me-nots are everywhere and are getting tall and spindly.  Lilacs too have passed their peak.  I remember Granddad Henry Sax wearing a lilac cluster to church on Father's Day in mid-June.  They didn't even wait for May Day or Mother's Day this year.  Irises started showing their colors about a week or so ago and are going gang-busters now.

It was several weeks ago that the fruit trees took turns going through their spring ritual of full bloom hoping and waiting for warmth and bees to help pollinate the flowers.  The Queen Anne cherries are small, about the size of a mature cherry pit, but visible and green.  At close observation one can spot some bulging ovaries on the pear trees.  At least one Oriental pear is the size of my thumb tip.  Blueberries are also visible but hardly exceptional.  The Saskatoon blueberry bushes were covered with blossoms, and there seem to be some developing ovaries but they've not done well in the past so I'm not overly optimistic.  The strawberry plants are lush and I'm hoping for a respectable showing to add to the breakfast cereals.

The peonia are up and waiting for ants to come and help open their tight buds.  Roses are out in Monmouth and out here just close enough to blooming that one can see the color.  Hopefully we have enough fences and wires around them so we can enjoy them visually instead of the deer for a snack.

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