Archive for April 19th, 2017

Spring comes to visit

Three days ago, spring came to visit. I say visit because in New England one never knows if spring has come to stay in mid-April, or if spring is just pretending…you know, “Hi, thought I’d drop by for a while,” and then…bazinga, right after the seedlings go in the ground…oops, late frost…kills everything and ya just have to start all over…again.

I swear April and October can be the most fickle months on the calendar. According to the old farmer…not his almanac, just some old farmer I happened to run into one day at the farmer’s market. Well, there again, you never know. He was dressed up like a farmer, with the LL Bean overalls, straw hat, and pig boots…the high ones…so if ya stick your foot in pig shit, you don’t sink in ‘til it goes just over the boot top and gets inside your boots…you know the ones…might even own a pair. Anyway, he’s the one, come to think of it, who told me that in New England, you generally have only 186 days to plant, feed, and harvest a garden crop of any kind. Come to think of it, that sumbitch was selling bananas ‘n blood oranges along with other stuff, so maybe he really wasn’t a farmer after all. But…I’m getting away from April and October so I best get back to tellin’ ya about those fickle months. When the second or third week of April rolls around and you’ve nothing but a few showers, and the daffodils have popped ‘n the tulips have buds, and the dogwoods are looking mighty fine, you just might think it’s okay to put those little seedlings in the ground…and if you’re a gambler, I guess you could do that…me, I’m not a gambler. Our seedlings will stay under the grow lights or on the bow window ledge until the early part of May.

They’s promisin’ us some rain this weekend, but it won’t be the kind that’ll bring “May flowers” – don’t know what damn fool wrote that, but I’m bettin’ a whole pile of money was made. Nope, this is goin’ to be that cold rain, the kind you get in mid- to late-November, early-Deember. I just hope it doesn’t rain hard enough to knock some of the buds off the flowers. Since the hyacinth and the tulips are already opening, I guess I shouldn’t worry too much. Since I talked to ya last, about a paragraph ago or such, the daffodils around the lamp post have really opened up. Prob’ly some kid on his or her way to school will break off a bunch for the teacher, els’n on the way home from school will grab some for Mom. I don’t have a problem with that. Hell, if they’d asked, I prob’ly would’a said no anyway.

So April’s one of those fickle months where you’re torn between putting plants in the ground, starting your seeds outside or just holding back. Thankfully, we only had three or four days that were tempting, and I didn’t give in. May’s only a week and a half away, so might’s well wait. Now, as far as October goes, that’s another one of those damn fickle months. Some years you can actually get a last swim or two down at the ocean…bay side, of course…ocean side cools off too damn fast. Other years, you’ve got the parka out in the first week, the goofy hat with the ear flaps the second week, and by the end of the month, you can be looking at an early snow. New England really is a great place to live, but it’s like Mark Twain said, “If ya don’t like the weather in New England, wait a minute.” It sure can change fast.

If ya don’t think things can change fast up here in the Northeast, let me tell ya about last year. By the time summer ended in 2016, much of New England was suffering from a severe drought…wasn’t quite as bad as California, but it was pretty bad for the folks living around here. Rivers were off their banks by four or more feet. The water department told us we couldn’t use our wells because they drew from the same aquifer, and ya didn’t even rinse the dinner dishes afore ya put ‘em in the washer. Yep, it was pretty darned bad. Then December, January, and February were warm but not wet. Fact is, with only a couple of exceptions, our winter was pretty dry. March came along and solved the drought problem…rain, aw hell, it rained and rained and rained and we got more ‘n seven and a half inches. The old drought-o-meter dropped like a rock. We’ve gone from ‘severe drought’ to ‘dry,’ whatever the hell that means. Right now, things are looking pretty good for the planting season.

Time to wind up this little whatever-you-call-it. Oh, it looks like this will be the second year in a row that we won’t open the pool. As much as I love the water, love to swim and all, I’m just getting too old and achy for it to be cost effective. If that sounds funny, let me tell you that I could spend darn near a week at a hotel for what the pool costs to open, keep clean, and close…and it’s-just-not-worth-the-aggravation.

Until next time, keep the faith.

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