Whiplash springs

treespringHere in Boulder, Colorado, we enjoy what might be called whiplash springs–warm, cold, warm, cold. Snow to sixty degrees in less time than it takes to write this post, and back to snow in even less. OK, I exaggerate, but only a little.

The great thing about spring around here is that it comes about six times each year. And I enjoy it just as much every time.

In March a few shrubs showed a hint of green, then they sucked it all back when sixteen inches of snow fell at the end of the month. Then more sunshine, which coaxed the buds farther–and a little more snow. Then some hints of bright yellow forsythia, a fresh carpet of ground-hugging violets, some sweet hyacinth–followed by a little more snow. Between each brief but chilly blanket of slush, some glorious days of warm sunshine, windows thrown wide open, and the feeling, as you walk down the street, that you can breathe deeper than you’ve breathed for months.

After this past weekend’s offering of snowy mush, the trees must have declared, Enough! With this week’s sunshine they painted themselves in a mist of delicate green. We are enjoying that most delicious moment of the year, the singing green of a chorus of deciduous trees leafing out in spring.

The trees might like to have the last word, but the truth is, it’s not unusual to get at least one more snowfall in May before green wins out for the season. That will make, what, seven springs this year? I’ve loved every one of them.


2 Responses to Whiplash springs

  1. Claire Walter says:May 1, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Bottom line, in our yard anyway, is that this wild-weather season has been toughest on the forsythias.

  2. Priscilla Stuckey, PhD says:May 2, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Hi, Claire, yes, the non-native plants can get sliced and diced by the wild weather. The natives have developed strategies for thriving no matter what the wild spring throws at them. Stay tuned for a post this coming week about one creative strategy.