Bonafide Farm

Cold fire

April 2nd, 2013 § 0

For the last couple of days the angle of the setting sun has lit up just the grass in the back pasture while everything else is in shadow. It’s a stunning effect, and lasts but a moment before the sun slips behind the mountain.

Seeing the light play in grass is the precise reason why I don’t mow all of my land. Even broomstraw—especially broomstraw—which isn’t good for fodder and is an indicator of poor soil, is gorgeous as it glows.

Gold SunAWeb

It continues to be a very long winter here in Central Virginia. With snowstorms all throughout March, one would think that turning the calendar page to April might signify a fresh, warm start. But it’s not to be. It’s still cold and blustery, with temperatures running at least ten degrees below average. Easter was drizzly and chilly. The daffodils are blooming, and were even last month, but the ground around them is still brown and quiet.

Yesterday, one of the guest instructors for my master gardener class told us that he had trouble finding weed examples to bring to class—everything is so delayed. And just last week I was in Washington, D.C., where the metro thronged with tourists come to see the famous cherry blossoms. Well, too bad, as nary a blossom was in sight and the peak bloom prediction has been pushed back to April 5.

The ornamental cherry in my yard, which I planted to remind me of my years in D.C., is no where near blooming. Its buds are still tight to the branch, shivering. The peas I planted March 10 just today stuck one leaf out of the soil. I can only hope that this late, late winter means a fewer sweltering, drought-stricken summer days, but I know better. Around here, anything can happen.

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