The Spring Thing

Check it out. There’s a day in the forecast where the temperature is going to be over 80° f. It hasn’t been over 80 degrees here since October 15th! That’s over 6 months ago. Not only that, but it was only two weeks ago when the last remnants of Mt. Maddie finally succumbed to the heat of the day. Meteorological spring may have arrived six weeks ago, but it hasn’t felt like spring around here.

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I follow lots of people from places where spring is blooming, bursting into large colorful life all around them. They have been sharing pictures of blossoming bushes and trees, bright flowers, green lawns and feet in flip-flops for weeks. I don’t want to say that “we got nothing” but… In fairness, we have signs. Hints. Precursors that tell us that springandsummer are right around the corner. In recent years, it seems that spring has been getting squeezed in New England. Winter has been hanging on a little longer but summer wants to show up on time.

I think this is because the Sam Adams brewery can’t find a good seasonal beer for spring. Winter Lager is pretty good. Summer Ale is good, if you like Ale. Oc-to-ber-fest is amazing and most people would tell you that they can’t start serving that soon enough. But Spring? Alpine Spring? Cold Snap? Noble Pils? Noble Pils was the worst.

I’ll let Sam off the hook. The fact of the matter is that we have to coax spring out of New England – it gives it up in a slow and not-so-steady pace. But there are signs.

Early Birds – I’ll start with my favorite signs. The Crocus. I probably should stick with the singular form here but we actually have about six croci (I looked it up, the preferred plural is crocuses, but croci is acceptable. Kind of like jacki being acceptable for more than one jackass in a group. No, I didn’t look that up, but it’s the term I use).

As we walked around the yard, we saw other early signs. Buds on the single white lilac that we have and, a week or so later, buds on the lilac-colored lilacs. Tulips popping up, nested alongside some chives that we have growing in an odd little space at the end of our driveway, and Daylilies trying to make a start under Maddie’s feet. A few hyacinths that have the benefit of the warmth from our foundation and a couple of Dandelions (yes, we consider them flowers around here). One other early sign is at work where the landscaping crew swept up the sand, mulched the flower beds and planted a few hearty flowers. It the 10 years that we’ve been in this building, those guys have never miscalculated the end of winter.

In recent days, encouraged by a few visits into the 70s, the ground cover is starting to bloom and those tulips opened up to share some color. The Forsythia has bloomed and things are turning green. The ants are digging out from under the walk and green is starting to mingle with brown. The surest sign of all is the line at the Dairy Cream. Soon enough, we’ll be complaining about heat.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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55 Responses to The Spring Thing

  1. Jin Okubo says:

    Reblogged this on Jin Okubo.

    Like

  2. reocochran says:

    I enjoyed this post and all the lovely displays of spring in other places than your own. Sorry, but New England has the most beautiful Autumns so maybe other places get pretty Springs… smiles!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sammy D. says:

    This is great!! Thanks for the tour – will be fun to see a repeat in same locations in a few weeks to see what’s progressed 😉. Even though you’ve been suffering ‘spring envy’ for us early bloomers, we in Colorado are always advised not to buy and plant until after Mother’s Day or we’ll surely be hit by a cataclysmic spring snow. We never learn!!

    Do you grow any lilies of the valley? I love those dainties. My sis-in-law hand carried some from Mich to Colo for me to transplant. I git some greens a a few tiny blooms for a couple springs but the clay soil didn’t provide a hospitable home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. loisajay says:

    Kudos to you for noticing the flowers in your yard! I’ve never seen croci (I’m sticking with you on this one) here and we don’t have dandelions! Amazing, right, cause we them aplenty in NJ, much to the disdain of my dad. Messing up his lawn, they did. Enjoy spring, Dan. Such a long time coming for you, I am sure.
    ps: Yay! I use ‘jacki’ all the time!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely! I do so love Forsythia :)
    We don’t usually plant anything til after Mother’s Day, either, but it’s been consistently warm (too warm to snow) for almost a month, so I planted annuals and added some perennials this week. It’s not gonna be 80 here, but it’s going to be 74 today, and warmer every day until Mother’s Day.
    PS: I’ve already complained about the heat, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LadyPinkRose says:

    So happy for you, Dan, that Spring has finally arrived. It’s been one heck of a long, cold winter. I sing with you!!! (((HUGS))) Amy <3

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bikerchick57 says:

    it is going to be 75 degrees here today. The trees are leafing out their pretty spring green and the birds seem pretty happy. I was just reading a blog by someone who lives in Nova Scotia, and they still have snow on the ground. Boo!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan Hennessy says:

    The power of beer is amazing .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. metrhispanic says:

    80º… you Americans always bragging with your fharenheit and other funny measurement units… it’s just 26ºC ( we are at 24ºC now in Madrid, but I will not go saying we are at 75,2, we are simply less pretentious). ;) ;)

    Nice post, Dan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Are we the only country still using Fahrenheit? It wouldn’t surprise me. I guess I should mention that that is 26.6 c. Still, I do like the fact that our range is spread out so that there’s not so much of a difference between 82 and 84. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • metrhispanic says:

        I was Just joking, you’re not the only country using that system. measure systems are Just like the language in which you learnt to count or pray , you can never reverse that, and there is no need to translate that (unless it serves your story). And yes, 82 to 84 is a more subtle difference. I remember a Nassim Taleb’s rant against Brussels bureaucrats measuring their lifes in centimeters instead of feet, but we are so used to our units that we think nothing else can be used. Yet you got to the moon, so either it works or you were as lucky as our Queen when 500 years ago she hired that Genoese sailor to go to Asia and he indeed found indians. Go figure. Its always a pleasure, Dan

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          Thanks. I actually have notes to remind me that the US is almost alone in english measurements and that temperature scale. Maybe I’ll just switch to Kelven :)

          Like

  10. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    We live right next to the water so it’s usually quite windy and chilly in my neighborhood. The blossoms are pushing through, but cautiously, as they have determined the days, even though warmed by the sun, can get pretty darn chilly at night.

    Some trees are in full bloom while others are bare – – I guess it depends on the tree. I’ve only been in this location a year so not sure what the bloom routine is yet, but was quite happy that munchkin and I could snip a few blooms from the flowering trees a few blocks over for our window garden. It’s our Saturday ritual to pick wild flowers, this is our first sighting of anything worth picking.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the tour of your locale, Dan. Lovely flowers. I’m still laughing about “jacki.” Hugs! :D

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sometimes we don’t get much Spring. Just go straight to hot. But this year we have had a nice Spring. There is a Spring Ale I tried. It is called Anchor Saison from Anchor Steam Brewery. They call it a California saison, it is citrusy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s true that the weather map is unfair. New England, as you noticed, is in fact having later starts than before and spring and even summer are arriving later, it seems to me too, than when my family lived there. But… you’ve got the best fall on earth. Your shy spring hides beauty and soon you’ll be enjoying flowers, already dead in California and other dry parts of the country.
    The ice cream shop I like in Maine opened sooner and I saw pictures of people already getting ice cream! But Mainers are warm when it’s 45F! Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      We do have a beautiful fall Evelyne and spring is coming. At least ice cream has arrived. I’m not complaining (too much) but it does seem to be slipping.

      Like

  14. Wendy Brydge says:

    I feel your pain, Dan. Boy, do I ever. Today it was a wonderfully warm 70º in the Great White North. (I had to look up those degrees — Celsius up here, as you know!) A few crocuses are finally blooming at my house, but alas, there are no lovely green buds on anything yet. A few patches of snow remain too — I went ahead and just raked over top of one this morning because I was tired of raking around them. And of course, I stood, hands on hips, scowling at Ant-Hill-Ville on my front patio. 3 hours of sweeping later, I had a wheelbarrow full of sand. POUNDS of sand. Come morning, I guarantee the hills will all be rebuilt, and my patio stones will continue to sink further into the ground.

    I hate ants. Really, REALLY hate ants. Tomorrow morning, every single ant house that’s popped up over night will be doused in Borax — the first of many applications. Takes a while to kill ’em all, but it works!

    And I just walked outside and heard (for the first time this year) my own personal favourite sign that Spring has finally sprung — peeper frogs!

    Like

    • Dan Antion says:

      Wendy, I forgot that there are colder places. We don’t battle the ants, it’d just not worth it. Sorry too, about making you convert. I really should have added that. I reset about a third of the walk in paver sand last year. It seems to give the ants more trouble. Thanks for the comment and I hope spring arrives soon up there.

      Like

  15. Kelly Grace says:

    Too bad we can’t average our temperatures Dan. It’s been over 100 degrees here in the Palm Springs area! We were here when my beautiful lilacs—blue & white bloomed at home in Sacramento. It’s a fragrance I only get to enjoy briefly and now I’ll have to wait until next year. Snow? Still? That’s crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      We will get our spring Kelly. Usually, the lilacs and the dogwood bloom together and the burst of color and fragrance is very special. Our snow is “long gone” (well over two weeks) but the grass is slow to recover so the dog does a lot of damage to the yard at this point. This is why we turn away the folks trying to sell us lawn care products/services. 100 degrees? Yikes. I don’t even really like it when we are in the 90s. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

      Like

  16. Jill's Scene says:

    Glad it’s beginning to warm up for you, Dan. We, of course, are cooling more rapidly than I like. As for the crocuses, I love them, but I’d never have thought to call them croci despite my latin classes back in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m happy to hear Spring is finally showing up over there! Does it follow that Summer will be short?

    I agree with reocochran who made the comment about your lovely Autumns. Perhaps she’s right. :)

    I’d be complaining about the humidity more than the heat myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      My guess is that summer will show up on time with its heat and humidity. All in all, I’ll take this climate over other options. I guess that’s why we stay. Maybe it’s the power of Autumn :)

      Thanks for reading & commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. crocuses are possibly my favourite flower. They’re so pretty and there’s something so optimistic about them poking out the ground to announce that spring is on the way! Sadly we don’t get spring in Hong Kong, we have winter, and then the humidity starts, the heat spikes and summer starts. There’s no spring or autumn sadly – and I really miss both seasons!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      The single crocus is the first thing to pop up every year. You’re right, it is an optimistic moment!

      I miss spring in the years when we skip straight from a long winter into summer, but I’m not sure I could handle life without autumn. I dislike humidity more than heat. Is the humidity there constant?

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

      Like

  19. Paul says:

    We’ve got 80 on the horizon where I am, too (mid-Atlantic). Picture-perfect weather for the time being, though.

    I’m hoping for a repeat of last summer, which was — no exaggeration — the nicest one (weather-wise) of my life. We normally get hit with some bad humidity, but the pleasant weather just rolled on, week after week. June was nice, so I thought, great, but we’ll get hit in July. Then July was nice, and I thought, well, August will be a bear. But it never was.

    I can remember some summers when I was a kid where you felt as if you’d just melt outside. You’d play for a while, then come in and stand in front of the air-conditioner for a while. I can remember stripping off my t-shirt and hanging it over the shower rack. Then I’d get another. Glad that even when it’s hot these days, it never quite seems THAT hot. But maybe it’s perception. Memory playing tricks on me. Anyway, good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Paul. In 2007, I was doing a major project on our house. The heat and humidity in July and August were awful. The record as 7 tee shirts in one long day. I have a smaller project coming up this summer. I hope we get the weather you had last year :)

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Peter Nena says:

    I love the lilac photo, the guy popping up for the first time. Really beautiful and rich. Colorful.
    I also love the “jacki” joke. Really nice. Had a good laugh with that one. Ha!
    What is that purple fruit called, by the way?
    Have a great weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Peter. I’m sure you’ve have had or will have occasion to use ‘jacki’ – it comes in handy. Not sure what photo you’re referring to with purple fruit. The Lilac bud will be a flower (here’s a picture off my Flickr site – https://flic.kr/p/7WJYzy ) Thanks again for being such a loyal supporter.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I promise, cross my heart, I will not complain about heat. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Earth is coming alive! The crocus are its trumpets! Your photos and story are testimonies. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Wipe Those Feets | No Facilities

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