Saturday, April 5, 2008


It is not possible for any human expression -- literary or visual -- to fully encompass the miracle that is spring. But nonetheless, I find that every spring I try to do so anyway.
It has been very wet in Kentucky, and it has been warm, so everything is growing furiously -- see our yard to the left. Where I see wild abundance, John sees yet another task (lawn mowing) to do.
In the autumn (the other season when I wax poetic), I blogged about leaf color. I learned last autumn that, supposedly, leaves do not carry red pigment in them, but must produce it in the autumn. Yet I find it curious. Those trees that display red leaves in autumn, especially red and sugar maples, actually display red leaves initially in the spring as well.
At the moment, the dominant new color in the forested mountain slopes here and in neighboring southwest Virginia is a dull rose.
Yesterday we drove down to Johnson City, Tennessee, for my 24 hour post-surgery visit (the cataract in my left eye was removed on Wednesday 4/2/08). John drove as I was not yet cleared by the doctor for driving. So I got to revel in observing the world that flew past -- with my new eyes. I no longer need glasses to see (except for reading and the computer). There was so much spring to see!
One thing that never ceases to amaze me every spring, is that there is a precise order to spring. The order never varies, although sometimes the time span covered by each stage, shrinks or expands due to changes in temperature and moisture from spring to spring.

The daffodils are always first, followed close on by the forsythia. Yellow, the most exuberant color of sunshine, is the herald of spring. [Yes, I know, among the wild flowers that bloom in the hidden corners of the woods, other colors come first, but the daffodils and forsythia are the first obvious colors in the inhabited spaces whether it is Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania or Ohio.]

Next in line are the white clouds of ornamental pear, that are very popular in the yards and city landscaping here in central Appalachia, quickly followed by the almost as popular cherry trees, with their pale pink blossoms.

The first trees to show green are always the willows, whose pale fronds sway with the spring winds. The willows have great sentimental appeal to me. I never experienced springs like these growing up in California. The only thing that I remember really marking the appearance of spring was the greening of the huge willow that stood at the corner of our neighbors yard, and filled the view from my bedroom window.


Jessica G said... have an actual backyard and trees! Our lawn is so small we can use a weed whacker on it. :\

From the pictures it is so very hard to imagine what is going on not so very far away....

Sue said...

Yeah, if there were sound with my photos you'd hear the grinding clank of the drag line, and the back up beep of the heavy equipment.