Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Springtime Serenade

It's evening on St. Patty's Day. The temperature reached the upper 70's today, the sun shone brightly, the wind was light and breezy - in short, it was an idyllic spring day.

I put in the rest of the strawberries we had bought 10 days ago, leaving me with enough bed space for 24 more plants. I think I'll try a 3rd variety there - we saw Quinealt (a June-bearing variety) at Johnson's the other day. Or maybe I should put in 24 more Ozark Beauties? That would give me more everbearing plants, as well as hide a few of the everbearers on the backside of the bed, in case the cotton rats come calling from the tall grass.

I'd begun to despair of my "gamble garden", planted back on March 7th, but today I saw the first glimpses of green coming up in the area that I had planted to Drunken Woman lettuce. (I couldn't resist the name when I was ordering from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange!) Hopefully the peas, spinach, and the other lettuce variety I put in won't be too far behind.

Next, I "woke up" the front flower bed. Actually, no, that's taking way too much credit for myself. I should say that I noticed that many of the perennials in it were waking up on their own, so I "turned down their covers" by removing most of last year's growth and many of the leaves that had accumulated around their crowns over the winter. For once I did this early enough that I wasn't dodging all that new growth!

The entire time I worked I was serenaded by a combination of chorus frogs and birds.

Normally, auditory input isn't my strong suit. In fact, if I had had to learn in school through totally auditory means, I'm sure I would have failed miserably. However, I am finding that the natural sounds of a prairie sooth me in a subconscious way that I hadn't known was possible. I find myself relaxing and smiling, stopping every once in a while simply to listen.

How sad that most people don't get to enjoy this natural outside musical accompaniment anymore. Even in my mother's neighborhood, which boasts large yards and big farm ponds billed as lakes, the frogs have been gone for years. (In that case, my bet is that lawn chemicals were the cause of their disappearance, but it's purely a guess.) I know that some folks buy CDs of natural sounds to imitate this phenomenon, but there is no way that those CDs can come close to hearing the actual sounds, with the sun beaming down on you and a breeze playing with your hair.

So, for those of you who can, I urge you to open up your windows and wallow in the richness of the springtime frog chorus. And for those of you who can't hear them singing near your home? I can't think of a better reason to switch to organic yard maintenance and gardening for wildlife. You'll be glad you did.

No comments: