we think of ferns as all willowy–gently swaying in the breeze in dappled woodlands. but this guy looks clenched to me. reluctant to unfurl. perhaps it’s picking up on the general political and environmental chaos in the world right now. perhaps the fern is smarter than we think. i believe that is possible.
unfurling ostrich fern frond
loving on dandelions
i believe that many people think of dandelions as a symbol of summer. they conjure images of summer afternoons as kids making dandelion chains to wear in our hair and around our necks. or the opposite–hot afternoons pulling dandelions from the grass because your parents told you that you had to. either way, dandelions get associated with summer. but the fact is, they are among the very first flowers to bloom in the spring. and, as a result, they are a crucial source of both pollen and nectar for bees, who are desperate for food after shivering through a long winter. so, please don’t pull the dandelions. our pollinators need them. and we need the pollinators.
dandelion flower gone to seed (Taraxacum)
don’t forget the conifers
yes the redbuds are budding and the magnolias are blossoming and the crabapples are flowering and the maples are leafing, but don’t forget that the conifers, which were there for us all winter, are quietly doing work of their own. they too have their spring, and, who knows, perhaps a deeper inner life than the extroverted cherry trees showing off all over town.
white spruce with new growth tips and male cones (Picea glauca)
today i turn 58. which has nothing to do with lilacs. except that i was born in may, and may is the month of lilacs. i suppose my mom smelled lilacs while she was nursing me. which means i must have smelled them too, in whatever way a newborn can smell. now she bakes me a strawberry rhubarb pie every year, which is the spring arrival i have typically associated with my birthday. but now i’m thinking i may not have given lilacs their due.
a profusion of blossoms
we have a lot of apple trees here in the north. and it is apple blossom season! a glorious riot of every shade of pink–from the palest blush to the deepest merlot. this week, and it will only last a week, is perhaps my favorite micro-season of the year: apple blossoms, ferns, lilacs, tiny yellow-green leaves. it’s all happening right now. and it is a promise of six months of fine weather ahead. and on top of it all, tomorrow is my birthday. 58, since I know you will be curious :-) what a fine time of year!
crab apple blossoms in may