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The Emergence


I have a love/hate relationship with March. All its ups and downs with temperature give me trust issues with Mother Nature and this past weekend in Maryland was exemplary: a sunny Friday with highs in the 60s followed by a few inches of snow, 50 mph gusts of wind, and a temperature drop into the teens on Saturday. Sunday followed with a thaw but still chilly and today I welcomed a Monday that dissolved the remainder of the snow and ice and again we ventured into the 50s, with a promise of 60s and maybe even 70s later in the week. Is this the end of the weather roller-coaster? Only time will tell.


Despite this turbulent weather, I will admit my love for the emergent signs of spring and the reliable order in which they arrive. In late February around here, we get the purple crocus. Then the daffodils bloom. Soon the hyacinths will come out and adorn the world with their heady perfume, followed by the tulips. How fantastic is it that these flowers come out in the same order every year?


I'm trying my best to learn some new ones, too. Skunk cabbage--admittedly not a garden staple, but a stinky feature along creeks and boggy areas--is also one of the first green things to poke its head out in spring and I in fact saw some last week. Of course spring is one of the best times to bust out some poetry by Mary Oliver as well and lo and behold--why would I ever doubt her--tonight I found a poem titled "Skunk Cabbage."

I'm trying to note when these events occur via a naturalist's journal. By noting the date on which plants emerge or certain birds are seen over the course of five years, I'll be able to . . . not sure. Note the cycles of the seasons? Be worried when events occur earlier and earlier each year? Grow bored in the monotony of writing, "Crows on fence, black vultures in tree"? We'll see. Hard to imagine in some ways what 2026 will look like but we'll see it when we get there, I suppose. Here's to the hyacinths. You're up next.



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