Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cherry blossoms and duck eggs

7pm this evening
Spring finally arrived here last weekend. In March, we briefly considered skipping right by spring and on in to summer, then for most of April we skipped past spring the other way back to winter. The crocuses bloomed early and were eaten by a rabbit the next day. The cherry blossoms nearly bloomed two weeks early, and then nearly froze off the trees.
The crocuses, the day before the rabbit ate them
Finally, last Friday the temperatures eased over 50, and we were able to get the trees sprayed. This is important, as we prefer our cherries without the worms. Then, on Saturday, spring arrived. I had to be a spectator that first day, as somehow I ended up with some friends at the Corner Bar of the Townsend while very tall former basketball plaers came and went, and some very nice looking woman was telling me how she’d been at the Tigers game that day but they’d lost “in overtime.” So I knew spring had arrived: I was sure she was hitting on me.

Sunday was the coming out party. Cleared the dead canes from the black raspberries, went for a bikeride with Aaron, who is now 10. Saw how much he has improved. I had to get a new battery for my tripmeter, and when I pt it in I didn’t notice that it defaulted to metric. It said I was going 36 when I hit that bump along Franklin Road. My tripmeter said we went 18km, but Aaron told me it was 14 miles. I think he needs a new tripmeter.

Sunday was supposed to be the last nice day. We even ate outside, only to be interrupted when the neighbor called to tell us they had successfully trepped the groundhog and that we just needed to see it right away. That was one big groundhog, I hope it’s the one that ate our corn last year. Or maybe the racoon they caught on Saturday. If they catch a few more I’ll consider forgiving them for being Republicans.

It stayed nice on Monday. Aaron and Elianna have learned to try to chase ducks from the pool. The ducks invade from the late winter until the pool is opened and the water starts to heat up. Early April, they’re there. One year, a duck made a nest in the hostas, and tended to them dutifully. It was going to be a celebration when the eggs hatched, but then there was an awful war, and when it was over there was a dead duck in the pool, and a mess of broken eggs scattered about. The momma duck came back, poking around, seeing if there was anything to salvage, but ducks don’t salvage broken shells.
one duck egg being kept warm in a shoe box
So Aaron had a squirt gun, and was yelling at the ducks yesterday, with Elianna merrily following. The ducks wouldn’t move. Then Aaron must have gotten a lucky shot with the water, and the ducks vacated, leaving behind... an egg! On the edge of the pool cover. No nest. Just out on the pool cover. After handling the egg, shaking the egg, testing the egg, the children decided they’d really like to hatch the egg. It now sits in a shoe box under a lamp. We’ve read that it is almost certainly already dead, but they’ll try anyway. Elianna is prepared to be the momma duck already, with her little duckling in tow.

Monday night, the cherry blossoms came out. A sea of white. Both trees on the same day. Countdown to cherry season, but for today and tomorrow enough to see the trees, out at the same time as the daffodils and the forsythia and the first of the tulips, with the chives up and the asparagus just a couple days away, along with the apple blossoms and pear blossoms. It’s almost too much beauty, all at once. Our other neighbor is moving to Arizona. We understand... but we don’t.
Happy Birdoodle daydoodle!!
Today was Elainna’s birthday. I picked her up from gymnastics, and she was singing, loudly. First in hebrew, then, “Happy birdooddle daydoodle toodoodle youdoodle oodoodle,” over and over. She flits around, arms in motion like nothing quite so much as a butterfly, if only she were light enough she’d take off. She’s the one who might say, “Quiet! I’m in the middle of a dream.” Presents of a toy pegasus and other characters, a cake to eat, and dreams today of being the mommy duck.

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