I heard on the radio that Missouri has set a record for the number of warm days in March. It has been unseasonably warm this month. March not only came in like a lion, with high winds, but also ferociously with high temperatures. By the end of the month we are to see temps in the high 80s!
As the usual migration of birds began, I knew that spring was on its way. The Canadian geese could be seen flying overhead in their massive V formations; the robins were back looking for worms in the lawns; the finches, both yellow and purple were at the feeder; the martins were gathering in their martin houses and of course the blue birds had begun nesting. The Juncos were still hanging around so I knew winter wasn’t officially over; not before they leave anyway.
One good rain and the trees started to bud. In Missouri the first to bloom are the redbud trees. Seeing their reddish-purple flowers dot the woods is a sure sign spring is here. Time to get those gardens tilled and shrubs pruned in anticipation of warmer days. We don’t put in the vegetables until after the dogwood blooms. March is famous for another frost or even a mild snow. Many an anxious gardener has had to replant after a freeze killed off their precious starts.
Busy doing the normal chores, I noticed the fruit trees starting to bloom. Now I was getting concerned; one year we lost the fruit crop because of that March freeze I just mentioned. I was hoping that would not be the case again this year. Next appeared the lilacs in bloom; what a wonderful fragrance those flowers send out through the air. I love to walk by those bushes.
Nothing seemed really odd until the dogwood began to bloom. Wait! This is March. The dogwoods aren’t supposed to bloom until mid-April. I am really confused. The blooming dogwoods are my trigger to put the garden in. Do I plant or do I wait? This is not right! I started to poll various “old timers” around me. No, they could not remember the dogwood blooms coming this early in the year. Sure seems odd. The box turtles are out and about also and we usually don’t see them until May.
You have to know something about these “old timers”; nothing really fazes them. They have been around long enough to have seen many odd things. They might consult the Old Farmers’ Almanac but they will probably wait to plant at the regular time, the end of April. Never can trust what the weather may do. So, like them, I will wait and hope the summer doesn’t get too hot and take its toll on my crops.
Praying for cooler weather as I enjoy the coloring of my world.