A Perfect Day
March 06 2022
It’s late April. Finally. It’s been a long slog in Montana waiting for green, but if winter does one thing for you, it makes you absolutely revel in the reappearance of spring. And here it is, one of those rare early spring days when it’s actually warm enough to sit outside for the morning cup of tea. We’ve got some green grass and the pasqueflowers are blooming. The leaf buds on the trees are swelling and breaking open. I want to warn them, for it will surely freeze again-many, many times. But today is perfect. I’ve a pleasant amount of garden chores to do for which I am grateful. I’ve got seedlings to water in the greenhouse, a few perennials left to cut back, some roses with winter damages canes to prune , but it’s not overwhelming. I feel like I am awakening slowly and surely, along with the gardens. I am content.
Blessedly, these days will reappear all spring, summer and fall, days of grace. Days when I am moving with the rhythms of nature and the plants are telling me what needs done. By afternoon, I am comfortably weary-tired enough to take a break, but not aching mercilessly. I pull my favorite lawn chair into the sun to soak up the last warm rays, sip a glass of wine, and stare up at the newly unfurling leaves of the Buckeye tree. I have everything.
I carry a buckeye around in my coat pocket-it’s a symbol of good luck. Called Buckeye simply because of their dark brown shiny round shape with a tan spot in the side resembles a deer’s eye. After the tree flowers with it’s not particularly showy yellowish white flowers, it forms spiny round capsules that turn leathery and split open to reveal the eye. No doubt, some people don’t care for these trees, they drop hundred of these round balls, unless of course, you happen to have a slingshot.
Sometimes called Horse Chestnuts, they are not chestnuts and not edible, even toxic. (The story of the demise of the American Chestnut trees is an interesting read). It is a wonder how similar looking Buckeye nuts are to actual chestnuts.
The cold will come back of course, winter’s not done with us, everything taking off and growing had better be frost tolerant, but nature has its ways so I try not to fret. Anyway, today is good, today is a perfect day.
Ohio Buckeye-Aeschylus hippocastanum, family Sapindaceae
American Chestnut-Castaneda dentata, family Fagaceae