Saturday, April 16, 2011

It always snows on the daffodils.

(click for bigger)

Except; it doesn't, anymore. I used to be fond of reciting that line; "it always snows on the daffodils" - as yet another bit of spring tonic. When we first moved here, and for the next 15 years, this was really true. It was a standard part of the progress of seasons, along with the "January thaw". You could count on it; snow would melt, mostly in March; April would arrive with a few surviving drifts still around, flowers would emerge- and then; cold-snap, and a really good snowstorm.

The human fondness for discussing, and complaining, about the weather has long fascinated me. It must serve a function, somehow, and yet 98% of these conversations are totally obvious (nice day, isn't it!) or demonstrably of zero utility (gosh I hate rainy days!). And yet we repeat them eternally, to the point where someone who does not make weather comments may be perceived as slightly odd, somehow. (That would be me.)

The seasonal progressions have their own litany, all amusingly futile to the outside observer. Dissection is almost certainly equally futile, but I can't help picking at it when my salesgirl, in Minnesota, says "oh, I really hate snow...". Somehow, it seems to me that our energies could be put to better use. :-)

So, I was always fond of the snow on the daffodils. It always gave me the chance to make the superior observation that of course it snowed on the daffodils, it always snowed on the daffodils, it always had snowed on the daffodils and always would snow on the daffodils - so-- why not just relax and enjoy it. Since it's going to be melted and gone by tomorrow anyway?

Then about 15 years ago, it quit snowing on the daffodils. I felt bereft.

So you can imagine my joy today.


Part of the joy is knowing, from all the years of watching, that the daffodils are totally up for it. Sure, they're closed, and bent down, and look like they're being squashed; but in fact it's all part of their normal repertoire, and in two days they'll be all straightened up, wide open, and as cheerful as they ever are.

Part of it, too, is the inevitable feeling- if they can take it- so can we.


Anonymous said...

We just had snow the first week of April; everyone in my neighborhood was complaining about it and making rude remarks regarding 'global warming' .... you know what I mean. I reminded everyone that we ALWAYS have a snow near Easter. Every year. Always. People were astounded and wanted to argue. I simply told them to go look it up, and if they gardened they would know that. I do, and I pay attention. In fact, our last frost date is May 1. Another fact that astounds people who live in the same neighborhood and I would think would be more aware...

Nice daffodils! I like snow, at least here, because we don't get very much. It soaks in slower and does a lot more good for the water table than the downpours do.

Olivia said...

And I thought it was only Canadians who were obsessed with the weather! Canadians talk about the weather because it is a "safe" subject . . . no arguments, it's something we can always agree on.

Greenpa said...

Tinfoil- yeah, the fact that no one remembers what happened last year is part of the strange fascination.

Olivia- I guarantee it's not only Canadians! In the deep south, the complain too; both about the heat, and the humidity, and about the bone-freezing cold when it gets down into the 40's (F). I've lived in Texas, North Carolina, and Hawaii at various times in my childhood- and even in Hawaii, weather complaints/conversation are standard. "Boy, it sure is hot here in downtown Honolulu; wish we were up in Manoa!" "Can you believe this awful rain? I even think I heard thunder yesterday! Man, 3 days and no sun!"


lkemp said...

Snow on the peas is good for them - that's another old adage. Looks like it will be tested again this week!

I took a similar picture of snow-burdened tulips for my Facebook page on Saturday!

E said...

For people who don't keep records or remember:

WeatherSpark is a new type of weather website, with interactive weather graphs that allow you to pan and zoom through the entire history of any weather station on earth.

Get multiple forecasts for the current location, overlaid on records and averages to put it all in context.

Greenpa said...

Lkemp- you have peas!? how? our soil hasn't been dry enough to work anywhere yet. :-)

And, I guess I need to apologize for temping fate here- (we got clobbered with a much bigger and disruptive snow yesterday- closed schools and all.)

E- I took a look at the weather site; pretty neat to be able to slide back and look at past stuff. thanks.

E said...

When using weatherspark make sure to check out how long the station has been active.

Annie said...

In Newfoundland they call it "Sheila's Brush", the last winter storm after March 17 (St Patrick's Day). Sheila being some sort of female relative of St Patrick. She brushes out the last of the winter season, anytime up to May. Here in Nova Scotia we've been known to have snow right up to the Apple Blossom Festival (very bad time to have snow, apple blossoms are not daffodils!).

Susan Och said...

Here in Michigan's Little Finger we got nailed with 18 inches of wet snow during the last week of March and 10 inches of wet snow this week. The higher sun and warmer ground dooms the April snow in short order. We feel a bit like Tennesseans trying to navigate the slop now that most of the plows are off the trucks.

But we were in high fire danger before the last snow, and the melting snow soaks the ground slowly in a way that rain can't. I'm dreaming of morels........