Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spring Has FINALLY Sprung!

This past Winnipeg winter was the coldest in over 100 years. It also felt like the longest!

If you believe the calendar, it has been spring for the past two months. Yeah, right!
Spring has been trying to come for weeks but winter has tried to thwart it's every attempt to proceed.

Oh, the snow was ever so slowly melting and the temps seemed even slower getting warmer. Even April was several degrees cooler than normal. More than a few of us were starting to wonder if our beloved prairie landscape had somehow been transported to the land of Narnia! Every time we'd start to see bare ground, the Wintery White Witch would send more of the white stuff to cover it - if only temporarily!

By early May the tides seemed to finally be turning towards spring. It was cooler than normal, but a glimmer of hope was on the horizon as the daylight hours grew longer. Even city street cleaning crews began the annual spring cleanup!

Sadly, we were not yet fully there, For the most part, temps remained a bit below normal. Then, just over a week ago (Wednesday May 14) we were disheartened to wake to wet flurries and a dusting of the white stuff!

Thankfully that was mostly gone within a few hours! We've since been inching closer to more seasonal temps.

It now seems that it may truly be safe to finally put the winter things away!

 Actually, I put the heaviest outerwear and boots away May 1. I never do it before then - regardless of the weather as that just feels like daring Mother Nature to throw more winter at us! That being said, I have always kept out a heavy spring jacket that can be layered with a heavy fleece for the really nippy days.

Alas, I was still wearing that heavy spring jacket till about a week ago. This past week, I finally decided it was time to move the summer clothes to the front of the closet and the winter clothing to the back! Fingers crossed I won't regret that decision!

Last weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend - or as we here in Manitoba call it "May Long"! That is traditionally the weekend when people open up the cottages for the summer season and/or start planting the gardens. Now, that doesn't mean that we won't still be getting some frost. That can still happen - it's just a calculated risk as to when and what you plant. It also means that you may be covering baby plants at night in the coming days/weeks to prevent them being killed/damaged by frost.

I've never been a gardener. I can't keep plants alive no matter how simple the care is. Despite coming from generations of a farm family and talented gardeners on both sides of the family - I have always had a brown thumb. I can't even tell the difference between the weeds and most things that were intentionally planted. Oh wait, odds are the weeds would be the ones that would thrive if I had a garden!

So, I wisely leave the gardening to those with the patience and the green thumbs to nurture.

Truth be told, I don't tend to notice much of the spring growth. Well, at least not until it truly gets green. My low vision doesn't allow me to really see those baby buds on trees or the tiny sprouts shooting out of the ground. I've seen pics from friends showing the tiny bursts of green and heard tales of their beloved gardening this season but hadn't really noticed the true greening until this past week.

We got a good dousing of rain on this past Monday of the long weekend (rain almost always happens on a long weekend in these parts!) and the rain continued well into Tuesday.

That rain has truly set the spring growth into full swing! The leaves on the tress of my street are starting to open. Lawns are greening up and I expect to hear lawn mowers and smell the fresh cut grass almost any time now. Even the temperature has been above normal the last few days!

On Thursday morning, I took my camera with me when I went for a walk.

The wind was light. The sun was shining warm and bright with not a cloud in the beautiful deep blue sky! The signs of spring were everywhere! Lots of people out walking, cleaning yards and working in their gardens! The baby leaves on the trees, bushes and hedges were opening and reaching for the sky - preparing to give us a canopy of shade through the coming heat of summer. The plants - both perennials and the newly bedded were lush and green in the freshly worked soil. I didn't take a lot of photos but I thought I would share just a few:
 Happy Spring! And as this lovely little message says: 

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