April 05, 2006

Putrid spring

My father came Colorado to study forestry at what was then the Colorado State College of Agriculture & Mechanic Arts. Except for war service from 1942-46, he spent his working life here or in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

In either locale, he had one word for spring: putrid. The wind, the mud, the difficulty in figuring the right time to plant anything, and the sudden blizzards all contributed to that judgment, I am sure. And I can add hay fever to the list, like this when it's at its worst.

It's early April, and we haven't see one spring beauty (Claytonia) blooming in the woods. Not even a dandelion. A couple of crocus have bloomed from bulbs that I planted last fall. My previous pitiful few crocus all died in 2002, the last drought year--"The year of no grass," M. calls it. This summer is not looking much better.

We should be happy at the prospect of semester's end and some vacation time, but it's so easy to brood about water and forest fires.

One good blizzard would sure help my outlook.

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