At 6,000 feet, spring takes its sweet time arriving, and night frosts threaten to damage or destroy early bloomers until the middle of May. Most years, the flowers in our garden are tempted by warm March sunshine, only to be covered by April snowfall.
We have been making an effort to replace water-guzzling lawn with more drought-resistant native wildflowers and shrubs little by little, but my nostalgia for the traditional European spring blossoms of my childhood compelled me to plant bulbs of crocus, daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths a few years ago. Even though the more untamed beauty of the former holds a greater appeal, I still admire the more kempt lineaments of the latter.
I learned by experience that our roaming herds of mule deer like the taste of tender tulip chalices, so those hardly ever survive long enough to allow me to immortalize them “on film” once their petals unfurl. And while the grazing ungulates shirk the blooms of the other flowers, their pristine petals frequently find a precipitate end nonetheless because they can’t withstand the vagaries of spring at the foot of the Rockies.
Lacking power to persuade our precocious plants to practice patience, I enjoy their cheering color and company whenever they make an appearance and however long they last. Furthermore, it is gratifying to see that precocious insects, who also couldn’t resist the early spring wake-up call, enjoy the blossoms’ presence and offerings on an even more essential level by sipping their life-sustaining nectar.
Welcome spring, my favorite season. Thank you for all your beautiful gifts.
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