Sunday, March 25, 2012

3.22 March Shade




There is no shade in March.
I wondered why it was so hard to keep at the raking this week. One unlikely reason was the heat of March, not a phrase we get to write too often.
It was in the high seventies again today, for the third day a row. The warm spell started Sunday. The crocuses, already up and starting to bloom when we got home from Beirut 12 days ago, shined gloriously for a few days this week, but this morning I noticed they’re mostly used up. No shade for crocuses because the trees aren’t leaved out yet. Normally, that’s not a problem.
Does “normal” make any sense any more when we talk about weather?
So I rake the leaves, last year’s dry brown dusty leaves off the garden plantations this week, starting last Saturday, ramping up on Sunday, even taking on the dreaded razor-edged maiden grass, finishing one of the big ones out front without open wounds, deciding not to press my luck with the other. I work a little bit more each afternoon this week. Dry sunny days all, but I get tired and lose interest after a while.
Spring fever?
Some of that, I suppose, but while I started on the sunny patches first, most of the front yard and then the western half of the back where the relative amount of open space lets in considerably more unfiltered sun, after a while that spring-proved strategy – keep the sun on your back to stay warm – backfired. I took off my layers, sat on the ground to save energy, and pulled the old leaves off the plants – some new shoots, some dry quiet places where no-shows showed me nothing-yet – into piles, before making myself stand up and burn energy. I was warm enough already.
I sing a little hymn to March shade. Go east, old man, and find it in the shadows formed by the house when the sun goes behind it. I work in the shady part of the cherry tree circle this after, get a little more done, but still quickly tire.
Too much heat for a body to get used to in March.
Crocus season is already over.