The crabapple tree in bud. I planted this sweet tree beside the grave of Little Doctor Vincent, one of the most amazing cats I’ve ever known.
A lot has happened in the garden in the past few weeks. Many days were cold and windy, overcast or outright snowing. Little popcorn snowballs blustering in with a dark cloud, pounding down and coating everything quickly, and melting in an hour. The bees kept largely to themselves on days like that. The past few days have really felt like spring, though; waves of purple mustard splash across the ‘dobies between Delta and Hotchkiss, along the roadside from Hotchkiss up to Crawford. Sandhill cranes have all but completed their migration through here, just a stray spiral or vee of them now and then. Snow covers the mountain tops; all the summer brown fields and ‘dobie hills are green, lush or barely brushed. Soon the surprise of some of those rare wildflowers that bloom only once a decade or two may pop up in swaths of white or blue.
Forsythia in bloom a week ago in a brief spring snow. I planted this forsythia in remembrance of my mother long before she died, knowing this day would come: she’d be gone and its blossoms would remind me of her.
Everything is full of promise, lifting my spirits with inordinate optimism. The river is muddy with snowmelt and the redtail hawk is sitting in her nest above the Smith Fork. Yesterday I watched her soar out of sight, circling slowly up and up, smaller with each revolution, a glint, a speck, a recollection. The bees, the bees are out around the grape hyacinths, blue and white; after snow two days ago the first little yellow tulips opened, their buds like almonds finally pushed up from underground and flowers spreading like the sun.
Tall coral tulips have been cross-pollinated with the splashy red short ones to produce a unique hybrid.
Blooming Veronica creeps across a sandstone slab.
The years unroll, one season following another. Truer words were never sung. The golden currant is full of small bright green new leaves. All the columbines are up with their rounds of feathery foliage, daylily spikes are four to six inches tall. More Veronica blooms have opened, and Nepeta is taking over everywhere. Chicory keeps spreading its rosettes farther into the path. This garden gives me great delight. I broke back the Basin Wild Rye last evening and pulled a patch of bur buttercup, that precious nasty weed I took such care to spare the first year I saw it, decades ago. Some almond blossoms are already open up against the stucco house, the apricot’s about to burst; the first dandelion has bloomed and Nepeta is taking over everywhere.
Apricot buds ripening…
The bee tree today is as thick with bees and flies and tiny undecipherable lives in the later stage of these clusters. I must come back with the camera when it’s less breezy.
I baked a halibut filet on top of some tender tarragon shoots the other night. Winter arugula is already sending up flower stalks in the covered garden, still feeding me several salads a week, and baby spinach will soon be ready to eat. Down at the pond a leopard frog emerged a few weeks ago. I’ve spooked it three or four times, and it spooked me when it splashed from the curly rush through the water, in one smooth arc, to bury itself in silt.
The resident leopard frog hides at the edge of the pond. I first spooked her weeks ago finger-combing the rushes, and still she sits there every day.
Sneaking up on her to catch a shot ~ such camouflage!
Another frog watches over European pasqueflower and iris shoots by the bottle wall.
A greenbottle fly on grape hyacinth.
And a honeybee drinking deep in another.
Though they’ve been blooming about a week today’s the first time I’ve seen a bee at the white ones.
From the songs in each of our individual heads, our unique threads, our song lines, springs the meaning in our lives.
The last cat, Brat Farrar, struggles through a health crisis, striving, like me, for balance.