A day of storm: intermittent torrential rain pounding on the metal roof, streaming down the windowpanes. Around noon the electricity jolted off and on several times before staying off for about 45 minutes. I filled two teakettles and set them on the wood stove, found a book and settled close to the grey-green light of an east window.
It has been a month of fractious weather, not unusual for March and April here, but frustrating, humbling perhaps as we realize yet again that we are at the mercy of whatever comes, be it the unseasonable warmth of early March when magnolias bloomed, rose bushes unfolded crinkled new leaves, or the run of frosty nights that nipped and blighted the new growth.
Determined to save my budding clematis I trudged out on chilly evenings to wrap the trellises in old sheets and towels, using clothes pegs to snug the fabric around the vines. Predictably 'Candida' and 'Duchess of Edinburgh' are showing shriveled buds, while the later blooming shorter varieties appear nearly undamaged.
As for the roses, I may as well wait several weeks and then prune again. Looking over my blog journals for the past several years I note that we've had heavy frost and even light snow in mid-April well into May. It takes only one such brief spell of cold spring weather to undo the effort toward an early garden.
Looking west during a break in the rain around 6 p.m.
With a stint of cooking/baking finished, I slipped on wellies and a rain jacket to trudge out with the little bucket of kitchen scraps. The rain held off long enough for me to stomp up the lane to the mailbox, only to find that the mailman did not make his route today. Mail tucked into the box yesterday afternoon, flag raised; out-going mail still there, the envelopes looking wilted. I tucked them under my coat, brought them back in to flatten on the edge of my desk.
Any threat of inclement weather here closes school, halts mail delivery, postpones scheduled events. We suppose the excuse is the narrow secondary roads that lunge along the ridges and cross the creeks which can so quickly overflow.
I was back inside long enough to kick off my boots and shed my raincoat before the next burst of rain belted down.
With the kitchen tidied I leaned against the front door sampling a small slice of blueberry pie, enjoying the close-up view of a pair of titmice bouncing about on the wet porch, picking bits of kibble from the outdoor cats' dish.
The titmice are cocky little things, often jigging along the edge of the raised bed or landing on the porch railing, seemingly unfazed by lurking felines.
On warm afternoons I've continued a half-hearted weeding of the south/east wall garden. At the far end you can see the hybrid magnolia, 'Jane' stripped of blossoms first by wind and then by frost. She is making a feeble effort to come into leaf. Beyond are two lilacs; being accustomed to the rigors of a New England spring they have calmly gone about putting out leaves undaunted by frost.
Early morning frost melting away as the sun hits the meadow.
Mayapple unfurling crinkled umbrellas after the frost.
A clump of bloodroot discovered on the half-cleared upper slope of the north ravine.
A few moments of strange green darkness before an early dusk.
Sally and Willis have plodded through soaked grass and then sensibly taken to the wall--coming to inquire if I need their help.
As I type, thunder is rolling in again bringing the threat of another power blip.
The forecast for the night is an uneasy one.
Lightning is flashing in purple-white streaks through the bare trees across the south ridge.
I'm out of here for now!