Friday, May 05, 2006

Rabbits from hats


"Like croziers they come up, like Irish shillelaghs, shaking their tight little fists at winter past. In a few days time, with a confident flare, they will unfurl sails of chlorophyll, drinking up the sun's red and blue light and leaving the green for the season."

I'm quoting myself, from a post last spring, talking, of course, about the fiddlehead ferns in the moist soil by the brook, a sure sign that spring is irreversible and summer is just around the corner.

The American nature writer Donald Culross Peattie wrote: "I have that haunting feeling that spring this year again performed all her old tricks and showed me just how life is made and what it is made of, but her hand has such slight and she so distracts the attention with the waving green scarves and birds let loose from the loft that just when you think it is time now to watch carefully, the thing is done."

He might have been talking about our New England spring, which for all the ferny hocus-pocus mostly isn't, until one day it was, and you wonder how you missed it.