Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Signs of spring...

...are tumbling out like socks from a clothes basket. At times like this, I think the pagan concept of the "wheel of the year," while worthwhile, is not quite faithful to reality. The year has corners--and we are turning one.

The Bradford pears that line our main street are in riotous bloom. The verbena and rosemary have blossomed purple, and the older of our two quince trees is leafing out.

Yesterday we harvested all of our winter spinach (there wasn't much of it; it likes sand, and we offer it clay), our first two florets of purple sprouting broccoli, and our first asparagus stalk. I put them in a quiche with diced homemade bacon and eggs from our own hens. Many months ago Cookiecrumb wrote about the unexpected sweetness of fresh vegetables, and it was this that sprang to my mind as I ate my slice of quiche. It was the sweetest savory dish I can recall eating. Especially the broccoli was almost shocking in its sweetness.

The sun stands higher overhead, and it is coaxing sudden ripeness from brassica vegetables that have grown ever-so-slowly through the winter. If Yahoo! Weather is not toying with me again, we may have had our last frost. However, I am playing it safe with our tender tomato seedlings.

Now all that remains is for Cairo to blow his coat. Tumbleweeds of dog hair are the surest sign of spring.