Saturday, March 19, 2011

Signs of Spring

I’m still pretty cooped up with my busted ankle, but spring’s arrival is unmistakable, and what a welcome thing it is!

I’m going to warn you right now that this is going to be a disjointed post. But that’s what I have these days: A bunch of little thoughts. Or thoughtlets, you might say. I guess I could do like other bloggers and make each little thoughtlet into a separate post, but nah. I’ll just bring you up to date all at once.

On the ankle: as of Monday, I’ve been cleared to start putting weight on my foot. I had some trepidation about this, since I’d stumbled going up our front steps the week before and had been experiencing pain. But the surgeon says it’s okay; I didn’t damage his fine work. I can start using it some. And you know what? Almost as soon as I changed my “non-weight-bearing” crutching to “partial-weight-bearing” crutching, the pain has almost completely gone away. Hmmm!

So I’m on track to get the cast off at the end of this month. No one’s said anything about transitioning through a “moon boot,” so I’m hoping that when this cast comes off, I’m scot-free. (Just in time to start thinking about cutting grass!)

It will be nice to be able to drive again!

Okay—there are actual signs of spring I wanted to write about. Lots of fresh buds.

Yes, I’ve commemorated spring before. It’s hard not to!

The stuff that overwintered in my herb garden is looking pretty good. I had some red-veined sorrel that survived, and that’s terrific! It makes a beautiful, tart addition to salads.

The mints are starting to reawaken, too. Peppermint, and a clump of grapefruit mint that I’ve had for at least a decade. (I transplanted it from our apartment in Columbia!) I’ve really been missing my fresh mint. I cook with it a lot, and I have a hard time purchasing those pricey little packets of it at the store.

The peppermint will be particularly welcome, though it has a ways to go:

Here is the grapefruit mint getting started:

Sue’s bonsai are starting to bud out; here are the upper branches of an amur maple. This is an exciting time for bonsai, as the soft new leaves emerge the same time the weather is grossly unpredictable. That hailstorm we had could have been disastrous if it had happened when the leaves were at their tenderest.

Here’s another sign of spring: Pansies! We picked up some yesterday.

I’ve told you before that we do a little commemoration of my Grandma S. every year on the first day of spring, since her birthday was March 21. We call it “Edna Day.” Putting pansies into our front flower planters is a tradition that began when my dad was young: Dad, his brothers, and their father would walk to Busch’s Florist over on Dunklin and pick out the pansy plants, and then present them to their mom on her birthday.

Since she was an inveterate gardener, this was the perfect birthday gift.

And since March 21 is just about the perfect time to plant pansies around here, I see no reason not to keep up the tradition.

I love their little faces.

Flowers by the front door do people a valuable service. Don’t underestimate the power of having flowers at your front door.

Plus, our daffodils are almost at their peak along the front of the house—they really look great, and I’m always so proud of them.

Yesterday was the day the forsythia decided to open its flowers. There were hardly any open blossoms in the morning, but by the end of the day, the whole bush was yellow.

Finally, here’s one more “sign of spring”—eggs standing up on end! I took this picture yesterday, though I might as well have taken it three months ago. That whole “standing an egg on end on the vernal equinox” thing is a total myth, but I think it’s entirely reasonable to be thinking about eggs in springtime. I mean, look at Easter, huh?

The birds in our backyard are certainly starting to think about eggs, at any rate! Every morning I hear hormone-jazzed robins, cardinals, and doves, and the grackles are arriving and sky-pointing, too. (Though it’s hard to describe the sound they make as “singing.”)

There’s something poetic about the egg standing upright, perfectly balanced, silent and prophetic like that monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. So what if you can stand an egg up at any time of year? We only do it on the first day of spring! Thus another symbol is raised.

Okay; more about springtime in another post.


Zan said...


I always welcome Springtime too. I was born on March 20, so this time of year for me is extra special. Good luck with the leg.

Julianna Schroeder said...

Hi, Zan, my birthday's in October, so I have a similar "thing" for the peak of autumn. But I can really get into springtime, too!

Thanks for the good wishes--I should be out of this cast soon. It sure will be good to walk around like a "normal" person again!