Spring is three to four weeks early this year, and it’s a little unsettling. My apple trees are on the verge of bloom, and the lilacs aren’t far behind. I gave a party last year for Patrick’s girlfriend on her birthday, which is the end of May, and I have photos of the lilacs in bloom. It’s not yet the end of April.
My veggies are all coming up just fine, and it looks (knock wood) like my premature planting wasn’t so premature after all this year. I’ve started bringing the tomatoes and peppers up in the daytime and putting them in the storm-windows-leaning-against-the-wall cold frames so they can get used to the real world out here. I’m thinking it may be time to start setting up the wall-o-waters, which are most effective if you give them a week or so to heat up the soil. It’s all very strange, spring so soon. We’re all enjoying it, but are haunted by visions of drought and fire later this summer.
And the mother’s day caddis-fly hatch on the Yellowstone happened this weekend — three weeks early. Very strange. Bill said they were so thick down at the Mallard’s Rest fishing access that the fishing wasn’t acutally any good — the river was just clogged with caddis flies.
I spent yesterday over on the Jefferson River with my friend Wendy-the-Buddhist. Wendy has a talent for trip logistics, which is good since the parts I ordered so I can use my old Yakima rack on the new car didn’t come last week (well, actually, they did come but they were the wrong parts). It was one of those weeks and I almost bailed on boating because the logistics were overwhelming, and I was having a big old sadness relapse and it all seemed like way too much effort. Luckily, Wendy was undeterred, and showed up at my house at 8:30 to get the canoe, and off we went. It was a beautiful day — in the 60’s and sunny. The river was very low, but fun nonetheless — and there was no one there, not even driving the highway that runs alongside the river. We saw sandhill cranes, who rose clacking from the riverside and wheeled around overhead for a bit before settling in another grassy spot upstream. We saw a lot of ducks and geese and meadowlarks were singing on the fenceposts. When we pulled over to the side for a break, an enormous golden eagle rose out of the grass about ten feet away with a (dead?) wood-rat in it’s talons and flew off — that was very cool. And a couple of hours later, we pulled off the river, had a restorative frosty beer, did the shuttle and loaded the boat back up, and were on our way back home. It was a perfect afternoon, and effectively banished the blues. I came home sleepy from sunshine and a little light exercise and a day spent on a river with a great friend.