spring always comes late to minnesota. the past couple years, the ice has stayed on the lakes well into may, sending cool breezes across the frozen water that chilled you even on the warmer days.
but this year, the ice wasn’t thick to begin with, and spotty after an on-again, off-again start to winter. the ice quickly dissolved into lake water by mid-april, not that anyone could pinpoint what day or month it was.
when the ice leaves, the frogs arrive. their songs fill the evening air, and on the bawdiest of days, they start croaking in the early hours of the morning. the snow is gone, and we’re in limbo, waiting for the green to arrive after knowing the snow has left. it’s the antsiest time of year.
the end of april this year was on the warmer side, and days so far have veered into the 60s range, which is both a surprise and a much-welcomed change for us northerners. while the warm temps help, what really helps is rain. april for me has been a little on the dry side, but the other day it rained a half an inch or so – just enough to make the tips of the trees start to turn green and the grass look a little shaggy.
i took a turn around the garden with my tiller yesterday, prepping it for seeds that have been in my garage for a month now and future plans of visiting the nursery for my tomatoes and peppers. last year, i tilled in mid- to late-may because the ground was still chilly well into may. if the long-term forecast holds up, i may plant in the next couple weeks.
two of my planters have flowers in them already, and i make sure to watch the nighttime temps. i also make sure to spray anti-rodent stuff on them because someone out there sure likes to eat begonias. i’ve got 8 little moss roses plants, which makes me think of my grandma. i’m going to plant them along my entry sidewalk and hope they propagate.
at night i leave the windows cracked a bit and listen to the frogs as they sing late into the night. the frogs are a short lived season, and i wait for them during the winter months, knowing they are the harbingers of spring. spring may come late in minnesota, but it always arrives.