Fifteen days until spring! Hurry, please hurry! The Farmers’ Almanac states that on March 20th, the vernal equinox is at 8:02 a.m. (CDT). But, I don’t think I will sit and watch to see if spring will begin precisely at that time. I can smell it, hear it and see it. And, yes, it is 32 degrees at night.
All winter I have been looking at the bleak landscape trying to perceive it full of bounty and color. I have been rethinking the plants, moving the plants, and reading gardening catalogs. So it is pure joy to see, hear and smell the first signs of upcoming spring.
And then there is the flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa), which brings back memories of my Mother’s gardens. It is one of our earliest flowering shrubs and is in the rose family. Seasoned gardeners may also know this plant simply as japonica. It is long-lived plant; you can still see it flowering on properties where old homesteads were. It is especially lovely blooming among the Wild Plum (Prunus Americana). And then there are the Snowflakes, Little Sweeties and Redbuds. Sigh!
|Flowering Quince and Wild Plum|
The birds are singing again -a sure sign of spring. There is a big difference between a bird's song and its call. Singing usually is a more melodious sound, while calling often is sharper and more direct and usually a sign of alarm. Spring is the time when most birds are busy mating and building nests. As female songbirds arrive to nesting grounds, they hear the males singing. If a song attracts them, a female will stop to look over the male, check his plumage to determine if he has desirable genes, and then explore his territory. It is the female that selects a mate. Wonder if we women should have our future partners sing?
What is the smell of spring like? It is earthy and composty. Sorry that is the only way I can describe it. You know it is one of those smells you can only describe but not name. It is kinda like the rain on the hot pavement smell. But the smell of spring has a name! Scientists call the chemical that makes dirt smell fresh geosmin. It is caused by plant munching bacteria that live in the soil. Not very romantic.
Ah, spring - new life, little buds, increasing daylight, and warming temperatures. So stop for a moment, look up, take a deep breath and listen closely. Spring!