Springing

More and more cherry trees by Walton

I think I’ve told a few people already, but this year I am really looking forward to spring. It isn’t that I ordinarily dislike spring; spring fashion often leaves me cold (in more ways than one), but the new life of the season does have universal appeal. It’s just that spring means that summer is on the way, and I generally prefer fall and winter because I deal better with cold than with heat, with winter clothing layers and comfort food and hot drinks than with shorts and cold salads (the iced tea I don’t mind!).

This year, though, has been a little different. I’ve kept the heat turned down low in the house to save a bit of money, and buried myself in slippers and housecoats, hunched under a blanket with a space heater. I’ve adjusted my schedule to avoid having to walk home in the dark (though I still had to do so several days a week), instead walking to work in the half-light of dawn. And I have come to the realization that baking products and winter root vegetables are darn heavy to carry home from the grocery store.

So this year as I look around at the proliferation of flowering plants and trees, I have to look forward to the warmer weather and longer hours of daylight. In Salem for the past few days, we’ve been having nearly gorgeous weather, and most of the trees have burst into bloom. There are daffodils everywhere, and the daphne bushes are making the air smell wonderful. I spent several hours in the backyard this weekend doing damage control yardwork, mowing and weeding and trimming, and expect that by next weekend everything will already have grown back. Seems worthwhile to me if it also means I can turn off the heat, or leave the lights off for a little longer in the evening!

On a more sober note: The unusually dry warm winter we’ve been having does not bode well for summer. The weather is lovely now, but apparently Oregon is already classified as having severe drought conditions because of our lack of rain. We’re short something like 7-8” of ground water, which may well translate into wildfires when the summer heat kicks in. This makes me feel guilty for enjoying the weather when I think about it, but then I go outside and smell the daphnes, and can’t help but be happy anyway.

Not to make you jealous, here are a few pictures of our lovely spring plants, taken in the late afternoon sun as I walked through campus on the way home in the 70-degree weather.

Pink variety of magnolia (I think)

Salem capitol under the cherries

Shadows from the cherry blossoms

Forsythias

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