Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11: Grass

This afternoon I returned home from my weekend on Vinalhaven and was shocked to see how unkempt--indeed, almost overgrown--my lawn looks. I don't think I'd raked the yard by this date last year. In fact, I don't even think the lawn was fully thawed by this date last year! But spring seems to have arrived early, and these past two bright days the blades of grass in our postage stamp-sized yard have clearly been sucking in the sunlight and photosynthesizing like crazy. Solar power rocks!

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by all this. There were other signs. On a walk through moss-lush woods on Vinalhaven this morning, we came across a vernal pool that was already clotted with cloudy masses of frog's eggs. Driving home from the ferry, I was startled to see in Rockland a fully flowered pink magnolia. My neighbors' rhubarb is up. I've read reports that in some Maine streams alewives are already running. Mourning cloak butterflies have emerged. Less exciting but no less interesting from this seasonal perspective, I've heard the deer ticks are already awful (first quarter Lyme disease cases in Maine are higher than they've ever been), and black flies--whose only value is as bird fodder--have been observed in the local woods.

But back to my yard. I let most of my back yard grow free, since no one sees it and I enjoy the wildflowers. So the front yard gets all the attention. Tthat's where my main flower beds are, so I like it to look cared for, to fully showcase the poppies and peonies, the hostas and herbs. Also, as I type this, I'm watching the final day of the Masters. Those beautifully manicured golf greens taunt me with their perfection. Bottom line: I'm going to have to mow soon.

Spring's battle heats up:
green blades sprung from earth's scabbard
to face the mower.

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