Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Waiting on Summer

 I'm freezing! In spite of the number on the calendar, how can it be June 5th when my thermometer on the deck read +2º C when I woke up this morning? There is a small huddle of bedding plants beside the porch, waiting to be transplanted. The frost-free date in our part of the world is supposed to be May 24th. We had a heavy frost on May 25th and things have not warmed up much since. I guess this is global warming weather, but where's the 'warm'?

However, there are compensations. I can work outside in enough clothes that the ravening hordes of black flies and mosquitoes don't have much of a target. I can work outside without sweating (except when digging up topsoil). And, in spite of the cool, cool breeze I am going to have to do that this morning because the poor little seedlings in the huddle need more room for their roots and I have to plant them, arctic air notwithstanding. Today.

Mostly at this time of year we have all the windows open and are greeted each morning with a chorus of bird song. (And at night we hear the barred owl whooing away as we go to sleep.) My favourite singer is the rose breasted grosbeak. We had four males competing - as much as these gentle birds do compete - at the feeder and I am sure we have at least two breeding pairs now. Their song is lovely. We also seem to have song sparrows this year, and a few American goldfinches, but no white throated sparrows so far. Even bundled up in a bug shirt, being outside is an aural treat. Not quite as amazing as an English garden in May, but very nice.

My two standard lilac are done - only skeletal seed pods remain - but the Japanese lilac by the kitchen porch, in spite of the beating it took from the snow last December, is just opening and the butterflies are starting to attend.

Thus the joys of country living in a Canadian spring. I wonder if it sounds pretty tame or even boring. Frankly, there are times when I am bored. Times when the job list does not look the least bit enticing, but there is no excuse to turn it face down and do something fun. As of tomorrow my wonderful friend, always good for conversation, cutthroat Scrabble or a 'run away' day, will have been dead a year. We had dinner at her home last night, as her daughter was in town for a two day visit, and it was fun. But not the same. It will never be the same. And there is no point in mourning, but the tears well up anyhow sometimes.

Speaking of Scrabble, I am being crushed in on-line games by three wickedly clever opponents. I think I am at about my sixth consecutive loss, and am trailing badly in two out of the three games I am playing now. Some of it is lousy tiles - a row of seven vowels, followed by a row with no vowels at all - but a lot of it is that they are just plain outclassing me. Sob.

And it has now warmed up enough outside that I have absolutely no excuse not to go and rescue my bedding plants. Ah well.


  1. The weather has been odd here too. It doesn't really feel like summer yet.

  2. Our butter was hard this morning. I was not amused.

    Your opponents are probably cheating.

    Does this weather kill the blackflies. Are they done, still coming? I can't remember.

  3. It sounds lovely and sweet, not boring or tame! I only wish I could know something other than sweltering, wet heat, especially as you describe it.

    And, I am a total failure at Words with Friends....

  4. My Miss Kim lilac had a very short bloom time this year. It finished up several days ago.

    We are so very chilly here, too. I was just up in NotL last week and though it was beautifully sunny, it was cool. Slow spring!

    I know you miss your dear, sweet friend. You always will, of course. What a wonderful friendship. Don't be so hard on yourself. There is a point to mourning. You are still reconciling yourself to life that is different now, absent your friend. A year is short when you miss a loved one. You must be patient with yourself and kind.

  5. Your description of the birds and birdsong makes me think I should put up a bird feeder again. We used to have several up, but we had work done on our deck years ago that displaced one feeder, and a tree taken down that displaced another. But you remind me of the charms of watching the birds. I think we even had the occasional rose breasted grosbeak! Mostly we had goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, cardinals and chipping sparrows, if my memory serves.

    I can imagine how hard it must continue to be without your friend. It doesn't surprise me at all the tears continue to well. Hugs to you, my friend.

  6. Ahh, I am sorry about your friend.

    Our bird feeder is busy, busy!

    And why aren't you and I playing Scrabble?