Sometimes they get a little screwy. Enough that there’s this uneasiness inside me, as I seem to write about their idiosyncrasies frequently. Maybe not as much as my daughter’s disdain for potatoes or the family’s Christmas tree, but the topic does seem to emerge almost as often as bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) or cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum).
And on the topic of cheatgrass, I cannot remember another spring where it was so prevalent. Perhaps it was the warm March and April followed by the rains of May, but it’s almost as if every street corner, every vacant lot, every median, is bursting with it. Fortunately, it does pull up easily, but it’s imperative that you get to it before it goes to seed. Which is right now. So get busy.
But back to seasons, or portions thereof. March felt like May, and somehow May ended up feeling a lot like April. I hope June will be a combination of both – warm days, some moisture. Yet, if it’s anything like the last couple of Junes, expect hot and dry.
Spring. I would have enjoyed a night on the deck or at least the occasional Saturday morning where nothing was lighting a fire under our feet. I know I am not alone, but between soccer and baseball, it was rare to walk out the door much later than 9 a.m. or walk in the door before 7:30 p.m. If the garden needed tending to, then it would just have to wait. Young, pre-seeding cheatgrass be damned – you were lucky to escape the gloved hand once again.
Summer. It’s official, as all school districts in La Plata County have stopped making the kids race the morning bell. In fact, I’m assuming that today, being the first day of summer vacation, my two kids will still be sleeping when I leave for work, may very well have jerky for breakfast, watch more oddball shows on the Cartoon Network and welcome me home while still wearing their pajamas.
And I will be jealous.
Summer will end quickly enough, with days spent playing baseball, heading to a couple of different camps, sleepovers and bouncing on trampolines. Before we know it, we will be getting class-shopping lists and making pilgrimages to Farmington and Denver for new school clothes.
Spring. A slow start to the farmers market season, with a couple of cruddy, cold and wet Saturday mornings kicking off the year. But those who braved the elements were rewarded with tasty, fresh and nutritious cold-season vegetables. And now with the warmer days, expect to see a greater variety of produce populating the tables. Who knows, I hear some people already are picking strawberries.
Summer. A time to restart, to recalibrate. A time for rest. The kids are wiped out. Between homework, projects, testing, feelings from utter sadness to pride to confusion to joy, topped off with 6:30 a.m. alarms, they need a bit of time to just chill. That doesn’t mean television, iPads and video games. But a moment to remember what it’s like to walk on hot pavement, to slap at mosquitoes, to fall asleep under the stars to the sound of crickets and frogs or to eat a fresh plum straight from the tree.
That’s summer. All the way up to that one morning come October when you walk out the door – to school, nonetheless – and notice that chill in the air, that frost on the grass.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.