It’s come. more or less on schedule. When I went out this morning, I heard the first varied thrush of the year, whistling in our woods. Yesterday on our walk along one flank of the mountain, we saw the first salmonberry blossoms and the orchids (Northwestern twayblades) are up along the trail. Just now I went out into the vegetable garden, thinking to do some work, and realized I need gloves. It’s not warm when the sun goes behind clouds but the light is spring light and there are birds everywhere. Robins hopping on the grass and listening, in the way they do. Chickadees and the single nuthatch that travels with them at the feeder, taking turns, the others waiting in the forsythia. Which is blooming! (Just at the tips of the branches. This is a spray I cut the other day for a dinner party and the buds have relaxed in the warm kitchen.)
One of spring’s truest poets is Ovid. This morning I got out my copy of the Metamorphoses, the Rolf Humphries translation (and I’m sure there are more recent ones but this is one I read as a university student in Peter Smith’s class at UVic in, oh, around 1974), and read the beautiful passage on spring:
Notice the year’s four seasons: they resemble
Our lives. Spring is a nursling, a young child,
Tender and young, and grass shines and buds
Swell with new life, not yet full-grown nor hardy,
But promising much of husbandmen, with blossom
Bright in the fertile fields.
So the garlic, not full-grown, but promising (and it’s Metechi in this bed, a variety from Georgia, by way of Lytton) —
— and the rhubarb,
and this little crocus, escaped from a border and happy in the green moss:
The garden’s guardian, an elk skull found up the mountain a few years ago, was covered in snow three weeks ago but now is ready for work.