Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Update

My, how time flies on the Internet while stuff happens in real life. We have been welcoming Spring, with warm sunny weather pulling plants from the soil toward the sky. Some of our crew facilitated inoculating mushroom logs, so later on we'll have Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms fresh from the garden. (Special thanks to Saralin and Julian!) Molly and I trellised the raspberry patch, so it'll be easier to harvest and (we hope) less mosquitoey this summer. We have the usual spring bulbs coming up--crocus and daffodil blooming, with tulips and peonies leafing out. Oh yeah, and garlic and onions galore in the garden.

The elm tree and cherry bushes are in flower, and I swear I saw red buds on one of the little redbud trees. Dandelions are starting to show their bright smiley faces already.

Molting robins (with odd white spots on their backs) have been prowling the garden for bugs (they are birds of prey, technically). Our "garden tiger" Snapper has had a sore paw for a couple weeks, but he's healing up good, and he's back outside deterring squirrels and rabbits.

This morning K and I saw a bee and a butterfly, both on the cherry blossoms. If I understand correctly, a bee will keep going back to the same kind of flower it finds first, so hopefully it'll pollinate the cherries and we'll have some fruit later on. The butterfly may be a Question Mark, Polygonia interrogationis, whose adults overwinter and thus are often the first butterflies seen in Spring. Also, they like elm trees, which we have.

The average date for last frost in our area is April 15 (easy enough to remember), so there's still a chance some of our plant friends will get frosted. If we get a chill, perhaps the "heat island effect" of the city will help. It's been a relatively dry Spring so far, with March bringing us only 1.60 inches of rain, compared to the "normal" 3.15. (Per I scattered red clover seeds in various places--it's a TERRIFIC medicinal, not to mention nitrogen-fixer, bee-attractor, and beautiful. After a good rain, perhaps some of them will sprout. Weeks ago, I dug some experimental rainwater-channeling trenches (not really formal enough for me to call them swales), and I've been waiting a long time to see what actually happens when it rains. Still waiting. This may be a year to find out which of our yard/garden/feastfield friends are "drought tolerant."

Either way, thanks and praises to the One and Only, the Source and Sink, the Overarching Underlying, the Uncontainable Container, for such a beautiful season.