March 18, 2007

Signs of Spring

Crotch rockets: A warm weekend brings out the crotch-rocket yuppies from Colorado Springs, looping down through the Wet Mountain Valley. (In Florence, by contrast, the Harley owners seem to drive up and down Main Street.) Every year a couple are killed on Hardscrabble Hill or the Bigelow Divide, sacrifices to two-wheel tourism.

¶The first meadowlark singing down on the prairie between here and Florence.

Mourning-cloak butterflies.

Northern flickers yammering and hammering on utility poles--they have been doing it for two weeks now.

Some crocus bulbs that I planted at least two years ago have bloomed, thanks to this winter's snows. And in the woods the spring beauty (Claytonia) are blossoming. (Photo)

¶So let's have a another spring blizzard. We need the moisture.

¶But the one that still affects me is the smell of burning grass. At once I think, "Ohmygod, I've got to clean the ditch."

But it has been fifteen years since I owned ditch shares in Canon City. That wandering lateral ditch along the bluff is no longer my concern. But something in my memory gets me looking around for a shovel and a propane torch come March and ditch-cleaning season.

Is this like post-traumatic stress syndrome for gardeners?

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