Journal Entry: Oh, Spring, Don’t Be Such a Sullen Teenager

Sullen Treenager

Sometimes spring reminds me of the agony of adolescence: It’s gangly, awkward, sulking, insecure—still a work in progress. And as much as it wants to be all grown up, has miles yet to venture down that road. Springtime in Vermont still doesn’t quite know how to groom or fix its hair or make nice with the company it keeps, even when it wants to, and when it finally gathers the nerve to speak, some horrible thing comes out of its mouth that was not at all what it meant to say. This notion dawned on me listening to the birds squawking at each other just outside our living room window earlier today. The dialog goes something like this:

Juvenile Male Bird to Female Object of Affection: Hey, you!

Female Bird, crushing on Male Bird: Hey, dumbass, you talkin’ to me?

MB: No, er, I, uh, didn’t say anything, uh, er. <Cough.>

Male Competitor: Hey, dumbass, go play with the baby birds!

MB: Your MOM’s a baby bird!

FB: (Rolls eyes, flies off.)

Not that I’m putting human emotions on avian intentions.

This notion also dawns on me after cool, rainy days without end and only a hint of occasional sunshine, or observing the emergent foliage on our trees, not yet fully formed. The buds on some branches are just about ready to explode; others trees are still casting off bothersome green spores and whiskery organic matter, like the spotty facial hair on a teenage boy’s cheeks. Filmy, green detritus is falling on every surface right now; this castoff junk, essential to life as it is, makes your eyes goopy and catches in your throat, as it did mine one day at work this past week, instigating a dry tickle and a coughing spell that went on for some moments before I could quash it.

Some fledgling florae are quieter and more poised, though, beauty queens in the make.

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding hearts are exquisite

Can anybody tell me what this is?

Or this?

I’ve been fighting something since the middle of the week, some viral or bacterial miscreant that doesn’t even have the decency to give me something to hang my misery upon; there’s no discernable fever, or runny nose, just a general feeling of malaise and a completely mixed up and malfunctioning thermostat. I’ve begged out of a couple of obligations, including routine exercise undertaken with one Scout-the-Goldapeake Retriever, and wish only to sleep for long hours.

When you must keep one eye on the chef, who has big tools in his hands

Good thing Scout’s about as happy for a schnug on the sofa as he is for a sweaty run. Too bad for us though, as these cool spring temperatures—while they make it difficult to know how to dress in the morning—are about perfect for an afternoon run. And I feel a tad guilty that all my big ambitions for our house and yard this spring have been foisted squarely on the shoulders of Chef David, at least for this weekend, or until I fully recover from my miseries.

One year on, and this new section of fence row still looks fabulous, made better by mulch

Because mulch makes everything look better—even an old fence row

The only way to the other side of spring, like adolescence, is through it. Soon it will emerge all grown up, with a sunny disposition and a pleasant demeanor, looking a lot like delicious summer in Vermont.

5 thoughts on “Journal Entry: Oh, Spring, Don’t Be Such a Sullen Teenager

  1. Hi there,

    I’m not sure if anyone else has commented but the first unknown plant pictured is a terrible invasive species called Japanese knotweed. It spreads through roots and really any segment of stem or leaves, so cutting and digging don’t work to kill it (and it’s illegal in some states to do this). Unfortunately, you have to use herbicide, and you definitely want to take care of it quickly because if left unchecked, it can tear apart your house foundation, not to mention ruining habitat and landscaping. Here’s a group that can connect you to local help: I do this in my state and it’s a long, tough process but you can be successful. Good luck! (By the way, the young shoots are edible and supposedly taste like fiddleheads, although I’ve never tried them.) The second plant looks like a Galium species, which is a viny groundcover native to northern forests. Its sticky stems and seeds can be kind of annoying but I think it’s pretty.

  2. The first photo is a form of bamboo and the second one is Bedstraw. Hope that helps. Mundi in North Pownal

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