Monday, April 28, 2008

The Argus Observes: Spring is a hussy full of realism

By Don Lynch
From the April 30, 1956 edition of The Argus-Observer

This is the mid-point of spring, the end of capricious April, the beginning of May gardening, the advent of fishing season, a time when we start to enjoy a full schedule of outdoor activities.

Our spring is a hussy whose pulchritude is full of realism. As you watch you see her pretty places one by one obscure the scars of previous times. The new leaf, the new sprout, the new bud among the old thorns break forth with their promise of a whole new cycle of living and tantalize the senses with the poignancy of beauty in forgotten places as they retell the eternal message of the annual rebirth of life in spring.

Just now half through her time spring has a delicate charm quite different from the rich, deep, beauty of colorful autumn. Now tulips brighten the flower beds, purple lilacs spread perfume, apple blossoms fill the orchards and flowering trees dot well-kept yards.

The roadsides border the fields and the unfarmed hills crown the horizon with alovely carpet of green that shines for a few days each spring, then turns to the dry brown of dead grass. Just now this passing green is in full splendor as the tender grass reaches up to cover last year’s old, dry growth. This gives our landscape an all-over greenness that it has at no other time of year.

The fields themselves have a smooth uniformity that will disappear with growth. Now their landscape forms a patchwork carpet of a thousand hues of green overlaid with a pattern of trees that carry the delicacy of first leaves, giving a soft, sometimes chartreuse hue of green, soon to become richer and darker as the leaves reach full size and color.

Where is nature is there a softer landscape than a little valley of alfalfa grown just enough for full cover and resting under an overcast of scattered clouds that lets the shafts of sunlight to the ground in a mottled pattern? There you see more shades of green than are seen in a modern household paint chart.

So far this has been a good spring in this land of ourse with more April warmth than we generally get and with the promise of abundant water melting from deep snow packs in the mountains.

In this once desolate desert region, made habitable by the hands of men, often spring is a desolate season. It lacks the soft moisture of springtime in the lovely coastal areas.

Winter sometimes carries on and on ‘til summer breaks forth overnight and we wonder, “Where was spring?”

Not so this year. We’ve had a lovely early spring. We may have heat in our homes for Memorial Day and again on the Fourth of July as we sometimes do in this eccentric climate. But in between there’ll be warm and lovely days, days for fishing or farming or gardening or golfing or whatever one likes to do.

(Editor’s note: The weather in the Ontario area was sunny, expected to go to a high in the mid-seventies and to a low of about fifty degrees on April 28, 2008, the day this was posted.)

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