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Seek and ye shall find. March 2, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, gardening, homesteading, pets, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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“Ben, it’s March, have you noticed?”

“Uh… ” Our friend Ben knew what Silence Dogood was about to say next, since she says the same thing every spring. Adopting an “I-can’t-hear-you” attitude, I quickly slunk into the mudroom to get some seed for the outdoor birds.


“Oh, sorry, Silence. You were saying?”

“It’s time to recycle our Christmas wreath and put out the grapevine wreath instead.”

“But, Silence! That wreath still looks as fresh as the day we hung it up! And besides, there’s still snow on the ground…” Our friend Ben managed to find two tiny spots where the ice hadn’t completely melted. “Besides, didn’t you see the forecast? It’s supposed to be in the 20s every night this week. Don’t tell me it’s not still winter!”

“Ben, it’s MARCH. You’ve managed to drag Christmas out to record lengths this year, but enough’s enough. Even you have agreed to stop putting seed in our cabin feeder so the bulbs that make such a gorgeous display underneath that tree every spring won’t be trampled and buried in birdseed. Maybe instead of fighting the inevitable, you should start looking for signs of spring.”

“Oh.” Our friend Ben is nothing if not sentimental, and Christmas is such a beloved season that I hate to see it end. But I had to concede that Silence had a point. Heading to the front door with the birdseed, my eyes came to rest on our mantel. “What happened to our Valentine’s cards?!” I wailed.

“Ben. It’s. March.” At this point, Silence’s eyes were rolling back in her head. “I’ve put them away until next year. But look, there’s the wonderful photo of our black German shepherd, Shiloh, that you gave me as a Valentine’s present, still up on the mantel. We’ll leave that up all year as a reminder.” She handed me a bag for the ornaments, bow, and solar Christmas lights from our wreath, and the grapevine wreath to hang in its place, and shooed me out the door. “Look for signs of spring,” she reminded me, closing the door.

After dealing with the wreath issue, I wandered over to fill our tube feeders, stopping on the way to check for the tips of bulbs poking through the soil beneath the cabin feeder. Nothing. I filled the feeders, then continued on around the side of the house to see if any of the hellebores had started to bloom in our shade garden. The plants looked healthy and even seemed to be putting on new growth, but so far, there was nary a bloom in sight.

Making the most of the snow’s retreat, I began one of our more constant backyard chores, pick-up-sticks (we have lots of mature trees, so falling twigs and branches are an unending fact of life). At least the firepit had emerged from under its snow blanket so I had a place to deposit the sticks. It was on the way back around the side of the house that I noticed that the bed beneath our home office windows was showing signs of life. Sure enough, a telltale clump of healthy green shoots had pushed up through the groundcover. Snowdrops!

Where there were some snowdrops, there had to be others. Rushing to another bed, I saw more clumps pushing up. Rounding the other side of the house to fill the backyard feeders, I saw that our ‘Ice Follies’ daffodils were up and running. I raced to several beds in the back where we’d planted bulbs for a colorful spring show. Yes!!! There were the shoots of crocuses, mini-daffs, and even tulips pushing up. And in the bed beneath our shrub border, I saw that the delightful chrome-yellow winter aconites and snowdrops had actually started to bloom. 

“Silence!!!” I rushed back in the house.

Silence, who’d been deep in composing a thoughtful essay, leapt to her feet, her face going white as chalk. “Ben! What’s happened?!!”

“The first aconites are blooming, and there are buds on some snowdrops!”

“Oh my God, Ben, I thought for sure Shiloh had escaped and run into the road!” Silence glared at me, clutching her heart. But she did let me take her outside to show her our first signs of spring. She even suggested that it was time to take our shiitake logs outside for the season, and pitched in with an armful of pick-up-sticks before returning to her essay.

“See, Ben, signs of spring! Don’t you think that it’s time to pack Christmas away and prepare to welcome the return of life to our land?” Silence may not live up to her name, but she’s a born psychiatrist. I had to agree. Spring is not just in the air, it’s in the ground. It’s time to turn our backs on winter for another year and celebrate the arrival of spring.



1. Barbee' - March 2, 2011

Love it!!!

Thanks, Barbee’!

2. alan - March 3, 2011

remind me of that in the morning when it’s 14 degrees out and I’m trying to get the fire going again. Or this weekend when we have more freezing rain and snow…

The only sign of spring I’ve seen (outside of the greenhouse where the peas are already up…) is a few moments of mud.

Enjoy your flowers.

Oh, no, Alan! Courage—spring is coming!!!

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