Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quiet morning

Mowery Rd., Monaghan Township, York County PA
Spring’s arrival here on Roundtop is still mostly a subtle one. I can find a few tiny leaves poking up through the dry ground. All are still unrecognizable. Those who grow flowers or vegetables from seed know the kind of leaves I mean. It is those first, tiny little round leaves that pretty much look the same on every plant. Perhaps a sixteenth of an inch across, it’s at this point that you’d better hope you have marked what each flower or seedling is because you sure won’t be able to tell from those two tiny little leaves.

A few things I can recognize—the leaves of the dog-toothed violet are well up, and the first bloom stalks are rising above the leaves. The buds on the stalks are still tightly closed, so I expect it will be a few days before the yellow blooms appear.

The rest of the forest still looks like winter after the leaves drop but before the snow falls. Today is much warmer than is typical, ahead of a storm that will drive the temperatures back down into the April range. Assuming I get some rain from the oncoming storm, the forest will likely look much different, possibly within hours after that storm passes. Spring will appear and plants will pop up literally overnight as if from nowhere. Sometimes the change is so fast it’s as though I’ve time-traveled forward or moved to a different place that still has the same trees. The change can be that dramatic and that overwhelming. That doesn’t happen so dramatically every year, but it certainly happens every couple of years like that. Will this year be one of those? I’ll just have to wait and see.

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