Hoping for Spring, Hoping for Earth

April’s reputation as a changeable, capricious month is well established, but it seems to have been particularly fickle this year. Each suggestion of spring was followed by a wintry interlude. Our early garden bloomers—hyacinths and daffodils—spent more time weighed down by snow or encrusted by frost than with their cheerful heads held high. After admiring our neighbors’ crocuses from the distance for years, last autumn I finally remembered to buy and plant some bulbs around our house. A number of them produced beautiful blossoms, only to wilt before their time because of late freezes.

Living along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at 6,000 feet, we know that winter doesn’t technically end until mid-May. Despite that knowledge, my memory is short-lived and each spring the weather surprises me anew. My gratitude for the moisture brought by recent rains and snow notwithstanding, I am happy that we seem to have rounded a corner, with more mellow temperatures prevailing both at nighttime and during the day. I sincerely hope that the lupines and columbines poised to flower soon will be spared winter’s chill grip.

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover the cursor over it.

The floral awakening is a lovely reminder of the welcome change of the seasons, and the no less anticipated return of migratory birds confirms that a page has been turned in the yearbook of Mother Earth. While shorebirds and wading birds en route from their wintering grounds in the Southern United States, Mexico, Central or South America to their breeding grounds in more northern climes have been showing up on time, the arrival of many songbirds has been delayed this spring. If we needed a reminder of how tenuous the lives of wild animals are, the deep freeze that assailed Texas and other states in February confirmed that countless creatures depend on finely tuned rhythms, killing some and impeding others. Birds whose survival depends on plants and insects to sustain them during their journey were adversely affected by the storm.

The prospect of more frequent and severe recurrences of similarly calamitous events is disconcerting to the core. For eons, humans living close to nature and its cycles have known about the interconnectedness of all things. Our modern societies, increasingly removed and distant from nature’s finely tuned ways, have lost that understanding and wisdom, not only at our own peril, but to the detriment of myriad fellow species. We need to find that understanding and wisdom again. There is no alternative.

This is my slightly belated post in honor of Earth Day, which we celebrated on April 22. Every day is Earth Day, should be Earth Day, needs to be Earth Day. Without Earth, there is no future.

32 thoughts on “Hoping for Spring, Hoping for Earth

  1. Yes, every day is Earth Day. We need the Earth as much as it needs us. The message for us all is clear: Love It or Lose It. Less seriously. I love the egret’s slippers and wish I had a pair like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mr P. I actually think we need Earth far more than it needs us!

      I love watching the Snowy Egrets wade or fly as their fancy slippers are really on display during those activities. I hope you will find some that are similarly attractive. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We should be cherishing the Earth, our home, and its inhabitants, our fellow creatures, each and every day but sadly the majority of our numbers are too busy with other things of lesser importance to pay heed to what matters.
    You have put together a fine celebration of spring’s return, Tanja. Now April with its back and forth seasonal changes is finally passing and May lies ahead. Happy Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, Earth Day’s in the rear view mirror and we’re into May, but this post was no less delightful, Tanja. For me, I suppose every day is earth day, but I know that’s not true for everyone, and it’s good to have a special ‘occasion’ to remind others that we need to care for our lovely planet. I try to remember that I was drawn toward native plants solely because the flowers were pretty; attention has to come first. Then, advocacy follows more naturally — or so I think. Thanks for your beautiful photos, and for your advocacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, Linda. You are right about needing some kind of trigger to make us pay attention. For you, it was flowers; for me, birds.

      I think we need to make sure that today’s children grow up with an understanding of and appreciation for nature. If they don’t pay attention and don’t care, prospects for the future won’t be good.


  4. Are those crocuses the ones that produce stamens for cooking, Tanya?

    (our weather has been topsy-turvy too, particularly through our very mild summer this past 2020/2021).

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are not the crocus used for cooking, Vicki, they are merely decorative.
      And talking about topsy-turvy weather, it’s raining/snowing today. Living in an area chronically affected by drought, we don’t mind, though. The bird feeders have been very busy! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Last Saturday’s ‘World Environment Day’ brought a surprise cast of interested people to a little booth we’d set up in the nearby park. Down here in Ecuador I’m noticing an uptick in interest from the general public. I’m not sure what’s triggered it – perhaps a year of reflection or maybe news of the climate crisis – but am hopeful that this is a spark we’ve been hoping for.

    I find myself using the word hope/esperanza often, as more like-minded people step forward. Some ask, ‘What can we do?’ while others are already doing amazing things.

    Esperanza. Yes, there is hope.

    Liked by 1 person

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