This spring seems a season of excess. There are way too many bad air days due to wildfire smoke migrating down from Canada, and there is an invasion of miller months because they aren’t migrating. (They are being slowed down by the smoke.) There are hundreds of the moths in my yard, dozens in my garage and basement, but luckily only a few in the house itself. I try to tolerate them because they are pollinators (and because they are pollinators, they are a protected species in Colorado), but I can’t find it in myself to like them, especially not in such vast numbers. Not only do they spook me when they come flying at me out of nowhere, but they are such messy critters, leaving their effluvia on windows, curtains, and anywhere else they happen to land.
There is also an excess of mosquitoes. To me, even a single mosquito is too much, but this year there are clouds of them. Normally, I am fairly safe in the heat of the early afternoon, since they are most active in the early morning and evening, but a short foray outside a couple of days ago netted me over a dozen bites. Luckily, my gardening clothes are mosquito-repellent, so as long as I am careful to wear those clothes when I am outside, I am fine.
I’m not sure why this year is different, but there is an excess of stuff (for lack of a better word) falling from trees. I do know the neighbor’s locust trees are raining flowers (miniscule greenish things that don’t resemble flowers at all), but I don’t know what the slim green things from my other neighbor’s tree are. Perhaps seeds. I don’t remember seeing them before, but this morning they are everywhere. Where’s a good wind when you need it? Oops. I shouldn’t say that — we’ve had way too much wind this spring (my hanging plants spend more time on the ground, safe from the winds, than they do hanging), so a calm morning is welcome.
We’ve had a lot of rain this spring, not an excess, exactly, but enough to make flowers and weeds grow profusely. I would have thought that I’d be appreciative of the floral largess, but to be honest, I find it a bit overwhelming. The larkspur, which is usually about knee-high, is almost as tall as I am. It’s growing thickly, especially where the grass died, making it impossible for me to access the garden bed and the plants that are buried in the larkspur forest.
I am the only one who is less than impressed with the growth. Butterflies love it.
Bees love it.
And visitors are awed. But not me. Oh, I do appreciate the beauty, but I find it unsettling. It’s . . . too much.
It’s not just the larkspur that grew more than expected. The lilac bushes doubled in size, and seeds are wildly sprouting. Normally, I have little luck with seeds, so I tend to plant more than is called for in the hope that some will take hold. Well, the zinnia seeds I planted must have had an extraordinary germination rate or they like the weather or something, because almost all of them managed to sprout. So I’ve been thinning the zinnia bed and transplanting the seedlings elsewhere in my yard; although I’ve moved half the seedlings, the bed is still too thickly planted. I have never had such a problem before, but then, I’ve never lived through a season such as this one, either.
On an amusing note, this fecundity has created an almost magical soil. I wanted to see if my neighbor wanted any of my ice plant.
I pinched off a flower to show her. Afterward, instead of tossing the sample away, I stuck in in the ground, and it’s growing. For all I know, if things continue the way they are, the plant could take over the yard.
It won’t be long before summer is here, forcing all my plants and flowers — and me! — to struggle with heat and aridity, but for now, I’m continuing to be overwhelmed by this spring of excess.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.