March is lioning. Wind howled through the night on March 1st. It shook the house, rattled the windows, scoured the lawn of leftover leaf detritus from winter.
Now, Saturday morning, with a cat on my writing arm, I look out the window and see a red cardinal and tiny house finches perched on the bare branches of the oak, in the slant of morning sun, looking for the feeder we took down so it wouldn’t become a missile in the 60 mph wind gusts. Soft grey doves bob their heads searching for seeds on the ground. The birds twitter and chirp, awaiting their breakfast. It looks warm out there, but it’s not.
A couple of weeks ago, spring teased. For more than a week in February, highs were in the 60s and 70s. I took advantage of the weather. On lunch breaks and between swim meet sessions, I put on my garden gloves and hat, dragged the hose from out front to out back, and grabbed a shovel to dig holes in the new beds I cleared at the top of the hill.
As hopeful as I was that winter was finished, I reluctantly allowed myself the possibility that it was not. I wanted to start transplanting everything I knew I wanted to move: bee balm, Shasta daisies, Rudbeckia; hydrangea, Echinacea, lilac. I really didn’t want any of those to die at my hands because I had moved them too early. So instead I moved a few testers — plants that might not survive anyway (rosemary), and a few that if they did survive, great!, but if not, that’s fine too (mums). I sowed some seeds as well — chamomile, feverfew, Texas bluebonnets I bought on my trip to Arizona with my girlfriends. The packets said to sow when the ground was workable (not frozen) in spring.
I hope the seeds didn’t blow away.
Even though I knew it could get cold again, and the work I did could be destroyed, I’m bummed by the setback. Highs are not in the 70s anymore, and more depressingly, lows are in the 20s for the next week. The wind still gusts as I write, and this is the first weekend in ages that I have free time and had hopes for finally getting into the garden. It’s March! The month I’ve been waiting for! Spring!
It’s supposed to get into the 40s today. I can at least walk the garden looking for frost damage on emerging leaves and flower buds. Tomorrow it will get into the 50s, then drop into the 20s at night. I’m tempted to move the blueberry bushes and maybe a couple other things I want to move around. I’m just not sure if it’s smart to do that when I know temperatures will drop at night (I’m guessing it’s not).
This feels like the longest winter. I have no idea how we survived Minnesota. I’m done with the lion. I’m ready for the lamb.