May 5th, 2006

And then there was one…

The sole survivor of the night of the marauding squirrels/deers/gophers has bloomed:


That’s it for my tulips this year. It stands, forlorn and alone, a profile in courage.

It’s a beautiful day today, though, one of several unseasonably warm ones we’ve had lately. Spring usually isn’t quite springlike here, not exactly–that old saw that there are two seasons in New England, winter and the Fourth of July, isn’t so very far from the truth. Usually it goes from snow to rain to brown crud/mud and then, after a brief burst, right into the short hot summer.

But this year spring has been early and, so far, it’s been long. The forsythia have been fully in bloom for more weeks than I can ever remember previously. And they’re still going strong, although this photo doesn’t nearly do justice to their intensity, which is the very essence of yellow:


Nothing is so beautiful as spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

—-from “Spring,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

4 Responses to “And then there was one…”

  1. MrsWhatsit Says:

    It’s been a long and lovely spring here in upstate New York, too — so much so that there’s a poem I can’t get out of my mind.

    The trees are in that stage of leaf-bud that usually lasts only a day or two, when the trees seem to be blooming with small, soft flowers in so pale a green you’d swear it was gold.

    Most years, you see this one day, and by the next day it’s gone, replaced with the sharp spring green of unfolding leaves. But this year, that delicate early stage has lasted for what seems like weeks. It’s as if everything is out to prove Robert Frost wrong:

    Nature’s first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    Where did “And then there was one” come from? I keep hearing the exact phrasing all the time.

  3. ElMondoHummus Says:

    What? Not the work of wascaly wabbits? Are you sure? They may look all cute and cuddly, but man!, they’re like fuzzy, cutesy, nose-wiggly Piranha where gardens are concerned.

    Random enough for ya? Sorry, can’t comment on the poetry. Science major, computer geek here. Only poets I know of are Colridge, Rilke, and the Brazilian down the hall back in college who got all the ladies.

  4. Joan Says:

    When I was a snotty college student, I hated Gerard Manley Hopkins. I thought he was pretentious, over-blown, and ridiculous.

    Boy, was I ever stupid! (Hmm, another example of a “changed mind”? Seems so.)

    I love that you quote poetry here. I miss forsythia, but here in the SW we have trees in bloom that are evocative of them. The sweet acacia have the additional benefit of smelling like the Necco Factory. What a trip!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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