Thursday, March 25, 2010
The sprouting of what I call "farm grass or garlic grass," is a familiar sight here every spring and, for me, marks the official beginning of the growing season. The land where this house stands was once a farm with acres of fields, hence garlic grasses and others related to farming continue to return nearly a century later. Nature persists where she can.
Mornings are filled with birdsong again and this week male Northern Cardinals are fighting over territory, specifically, the right to build nests in the century-old stand of yews outside my study window. For a couple of days flashes of red in a kind of relay-race flight blazed by and then disappeared, repeating minutes later. This morning all is quiet. The victors can now focus on mating and nestbuilding.
Buds are beginning to break on a fragrant May-blooming viburnum (V. burkwoodii) and another (V. dentatum), which produces berries that birds love, is sending up arrow straight branches that have doubled in height in just the past two weeks. Of course, 14 inches of rain will produce this kind of accelerated growth. In more ways than one this truly is an early spring.
As the weeks pass, the busyness of the season is impossible to ignore: groundhogs waking, birds nesting, perennial plants emerging, trees and shrubs budding. After all the havoc our kind has wreaked on nature I am always grateful and somewhat astonished that It Begins Again.
But I worry. Will it always?