A Small But Determined Sign Of Spring
Realization Of The Day:
Spring will burst through anything.
When I first moved to Missouri, I read that you were supposed to do something (Plant potatoes maybe? Hunt for morel mushrooms?) when the oak leaves on the trees were the size of a squirrel's ear. I found this piece of advice both funny and odd. A squirrel's ear? Please. How are you supposed to know how big a squirrel's ear is? All I knew was that it had to be small. Really small.
But that's how spring starts out each year, isn't it? Small. Baby buds on the lilac bushes, delicate blades of grass, one tiny grasshopper. But just as you would have to look very closely at a squirrel to figure out the size of its ear, you have to look closely or you will miss so many signs of spring. I don't think I'll ever stop being amazed by how all those barely visible sprouted seeds in the garden turn into full grown beets and heads of lettuce and bushes dripping with beans and tomatoes. How can they do that? And how does the transformation seem to happen in only a matter of days? (Well, unless you're waiting for the first ripe tomatoes of the season.)
I don't know what size the oak leaves are right now, but I do know they're here (and the morels aren't--I checked this morning). And so is our lone clump of grape hyacinths in the front yard. I'd forgotten all about it until I nearly tripped over it yesterday as I was on my way back from one of my numerous lamb-checking trips to the barn. I was so surprised I actually said "When did that happen?" out loud. I love grape hyacinths, and I could have sworn they weren't there the day before. But as far as I know, unlike mushrooms, they do not pop up overnight. They were there alright, along with the oak leaves and the lilac buds and the itty bitty purple flowers I found sprinkled over one of the fenced pastures this morning. I just hadn't taken the time to notice them.
Spring is here, in all its glorious busyness. Slow down, slow down, slow down. You'll never figure out how big a squirrel's ear is if you don't.
From Garden To Table:
For the past few weeks I've been picking arugula and three varieties of Swiss chard that overwintered in the greenhouse and tossing them into the nightly salad bowl. Fresh parsley, too. Green has never tasted so good.