A cold front moved our unseasonably hot weather out of Maine. Friday was a pleasant 70°F with a dry air and a strong breeze. This wind enwraps and enraptures us, as if the spirit of spring is inviting us to laugh and dance with the trees. Click on the image for a larger view.
Spring is such an amazing time of year. We have had months of a dry, brown landscape, and then, within a matter of weeks, the landscape transforms. After two days of rain, there was a break in the weather this evening. I went out to see our sweet crab apple tree. Not only do we enjoy its magnificent spring display, in the late summer, we can also harvest its fruit. Click on the image for a larger view.
Red trillium, or wake robin, is appearing on the forest floor. It is one of the first flowers of the season, taking advantage of the light before the foliage returns. Trillium is a striking plant, but its scent of rotting meat is for a slightly different audience. Click on the image for a larger view.
Our daylilies are emerging. While the daylily (hemerocallis fulva) is known as a decorative plant, it is also edible. This time of year we eat the young shoots by stir frying them in soy sauce and serving them on tofu. We harvest the shoots when they are only a few inches long. The ones pictured here would be a little too old. Click on the image for a larger view.
This spring has been wet and gray. The foliage is just starting to appear on our trees. However, our wild plum has come into blossom. This is our messenger of spring. One corner of our land glows with these brilliant white flowers. As the blossoms mature, they turn a deep pink. Click on the image for a larger view.
Our fruit plants are going through their annual flowering cycle. At the beginning of May, our wild plum was in bloom. The middle of may brought the blossoms out in our apple and peach trees. Now our blackberry canes are blossoming. These are in our field, but the blackberry under our forest canopy are also out. Click on the image for a larger view.
At the end of April, I was so excited about the arrival of spring. The flora was returning and the weather was warm. A month later, the forest is a rich mass of green. Oddly enough, in winter, the forest is spacious and full of light, yet there is an absence of life. Now, it is dark and closed, but full of the vitality. Click on the image for a different view.
Our apple trees are in bloom. We have several varieties, but the blossoms are surprisingly similar—the foliage has greater variety. These particular blossoms are on a tree we call Midori-chan. Click on the image for a larger view.
The emergence of the spring foliage always takes me by surprise. Not only in how fast it happens—it seems like last week the trees were just beginning to bud—but also in the intensity of color. This evening’s sun seemed to make the forest glow in a burning green-yellow flame.
The other thing that caught my attention this evening was was the scent of new plants. While the air in winter is fresh and clean, it is rather sanitized. You seem to forget the world has a fragrance. And when I passed our lilac trees, the sweetness of the air was almost unreal. It is really nice to see spring taking hold. Click on the image for a larger view.
Our wild plum are now in bloom. The trees cluster around an old ash at the entrance of our driveway. Since the forest has not come into foliage, the light from the setting sun strikes them in the evening. The bloom are still white, but they will turn pink as the leaves come out. In August, we can harvest the fruit. Click on the image for a larger view.
Yesterday was April 26th (not March 26th, although it looked like it). It snowed all day. This is a bit disheartening. Naomi and I hope the cold has not harmed the budding plants. We are supposed to go below freezing for the next few nights. The daytime temperatures should be in the 50s, which will help. Click on the image for a larger view.