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Spring Has Sprung

Apple Blossoms looking for Bees

This will be my last weekly essay about Spring. It is clear that the energy that has been stored in the roots of the trees, bushes, and other plants over the winter has been released. My goodness, it has happened quickly.

The beauty of the apple blossoms have now taken our attention away from the May Day Tree blossoms. The Bow Valley winds are scattering the tiny, white May Day flower petals everywhere. Where they gather in small piles, it looks like there was an overnight snowfall.

I hear a few honey bees making their way through the apple blossoms, but most of them are touching down on the blossoms above my head so I can’t get a good picture of the beautiful little insects. There are fewer bees than I remember from not too many years ago. This worries me, because a healthy bee population is indicative of a healthy environment. I know this is studied and reported all of the time by entomologists, but I’m not one of them, so I’ll not say anything more here.

During the last ten days we’ve had four frost events at our place near the bottom of the Bow Valley in Cochrane. The first was enough to scare us into bringing in our potted flowers at night and since then the frosts have been a surprise, but we’ve kept our flowers protected. I hope that’s over now. One morning I was out on the deck with my morning coffee and breakfast basking in the warm morning sun. The next morning there was ice on the deck’s metal railing. How’s that for extremes?

All the greens of Spring are around us now. The odour of the new poplar and aspen leaves has just about disappeared, but that other prairie odour, of the blossoming Wolf Willow, will be with us soon. For this prairie boy it makes the place smell like home.

The colours of our perennial garden flowers can’t be seen yet, but their foundation of green is progressing well and we expect colour to appear soon. What a treat that will be compared to a wind blown blanket of snow.

“What a desolate place would be a world without a flower.” - Clara Lucas Balfour


There are a couple of items that are now well under way and appear in our yard. I greet them each with distain every year. Here they are, shown below, springing forth from what seems like nothing and growing faster than anything around them. I shall be as brutal with them as I can, all summer long.

The ubiquitous dandelion. I try not to poison. I dig. But sometimes I just give up and the 2-4-D appears.

This encrouching quack grass will soon have its roots and top pulled from its hidden, tough, and resilient string root to the top of its yet young blade of grean.

If I let one blade of this grass continue, unchallenged, I will eventually lose. I can’t let that happen.



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