Monday, May 16, 2016

Fickle Spring Continues

Weather: Hard rain Sunday afternoon.

What’s blooming in the area: Austrian copper, pink and yellow roses, spirea, snowball, Dutch iris, peony, donkey spurge, blue flax, Jupiter’s beard, Canadian columbine.

Beyond the walls and fences: Tansy and tumble mustards, tufted white evening primrose, alfilerillo, purple mat flower, western stickseed, bindweed, fern leaf globe mallow, green amaranth, fleabane, goat’s beard, native and common dandelions, June, cheat, rice and needle grasses, mushrooms.

In my yard: Woods and rugosa roses, beauty bush, skunkbush, chives, vinca, snow-in-summer, pinks, coral bells, golden spur columbine, Johnson’s Blue geranium.

Inside: Zonal geraniums.

Animal sightings: Rabbit, small birds, gecko.

Weekly update: Some years ago I had a friend who had spent a year teaching at some university in one of the prairie provinces. He couldn’t get over how many there could only talk about the weather. I made sympathetic noises. Now, after years in New Mexico, my sympathies are entirely with the Canadians.

This was the week we left spring behind. We had some rain a week ago, the morning temperatures weren’t as cold, and early summer plants started blooming. The fleabanes, whose seeds must drift in with the irrigation water, covered large areas.

Lawns were suddenly green, but they were still patchworks of color. Seeds planted to repairs holes are never the same variety, and for a week or two this time of year the history is revealed. In a bit, they’ll all be the same greens.

Even though the weather had changed, I still couldn’t put out any of the plants I’d bought. The winds came up every afternoon and sucked out whatever water I’ve managed to put down in the early morning. I felt like a six-year-old trapped in the house.

When I did get out, I saw the remains of spring. I could find only one peach on three trees.

That was one more than the sweet cherries or apricots had produced.

Of course, the cherries I don’t eat were doing fine. The sandcherries were covered with fruit that the birds or ground squirrel will take.

The choke cherry had put out small fruits that already were disappearing.

Even the sour cherry had managed to survive the bad spring. Other people tell me it’s fruit is good, but whenever I tried it, it was too bitter. The birds take them as well.

1. Spirea has had a very good year, but then it’s more of a northern plant; 14 May 2016.

2. Siberian pea pods aren’t eaten by me or the birds; 15 May 2016.

3. One lone peach, 15 May 2016.

4. Bing sweet cherry, or what they label claimed was a Big; 15 May 2016.

5. Sand cherries, 15 May 2016.

6. Choke cherries, 15 May 2016.

7. North Star, sour cherry, 15 May 2016.

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