Monday, April 23, 2012

The day that the rains came down ......

All of our fears for  field and forest fires have been taken off the page.  We are getting a soaking that will fill the vernal pools,  bring the earth worms to the top of the lawn, and dilute the salt marshes.  It will also dampen the spirits of the school kids who have to wait for buses or walk to school.  

The dog didn't want to leave the patio, which actually had standing water on it.  He hates wet grass, but he  "had to go" and eventually accomplished his duty.    Good dog! 

I imagine my farm family will not appreciate the mud this day will produce.  The horses will be muddy to their knees and their dogs, like mine, will be wet and smelly when they come in.   Cats on the other hand, will just sit in the window and when neccessary,  go with stately pride to their litter box.   On days like this I am grateful for my attached garage and the drive through drug store.  
WHen the rain stops and the sun comes out we will marvel at the rate the grass grows, but mourn a little bit that the forsythia, magnolia, and azalea blooms have been beaten off their branches and lie soggy and faded on the ground.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hello Spring

Spring came early to Maine.   It actually came too soon, and winter wasn't much to begin with.  Maple trees greedily kept their sap making the syrup harvest light.  Snow left the mountains before skiers had had the last run and retailers were left with shovels, snow blowers,ice melt and winter clothing still on the floors.  Now, April 18, the patio furniture is out, the rakes, hoses and garden implements are on display while the help is still finding storage room for the unsold goods.  Bulb plants which usually appear about now are gone, and the late blooming ones are open.   I have a lovely crop of yellow mustard plants coming up all over the small plots I am allowed to plant in.  Condo living, with one floor units, does offer a little leeway in the rear, and conservatively in the front.  The "old guard" never wanted any thing out front, every house should look exactly like its neighbor. I was told "That's what condo living is all about.  We don't want every body doing their own thing."   But in the end, according to the "green book" we do have a little space to display our individualism.  No pink flamingos or little girls bent over with their panties showing, though.  

I went to Yarmouth today.   The rocks along the way, which do change with the seasons and the humidity, are pale and dry.  Greenery is coming up on the roadside.  Last year's cattails and red berry bushes are falling down to fertilize this year's crop.   But everything is critically dry because we didn't get snow on the mountains to bring the spring run-off.   The "peepers" have found their vernal pools are deep enough to sustain them, and tonight  as the last few nights they are singing their wooing songs.   The cardinals are out every morning calling to each other.  One near me and one further off to the east. I don't know if they are marking their territory or attracting a mate.   I try to imitate thier whistle and sometimes it is near enough to confuse them.  I know that because they send me mixed signals in reply.   Yesterday as I stood out back a huge black bird went over my head.  His huge wings were flapping laboriously.   He let out several raucous calls.  I think he is a goose of some variety and I remember seeing one last year about this time.  I know he (she?) is not a Canada Goose and I know it wasn't a wader. No long legs.  Out of sight in a flash.  Even the dog looked up.   Dog walkers, baby carriage pushers, marathoners, bicyclists - welcome Spring.  Maine's a great place to be this time of year.