January 13, 2014

The thaw progresses rapidly. Nearly 50 today- 60 degrees warmer than it was exactly one week ago.

The Council

As you might imagine, this sudden change in the weather has prompted a discussion of spring with the Council. Passions are running high among the members today. Maybe it’s the feeling of spring in the air or maybe it’s just that Brass Frog is being ridiculous. Mary is staying out of the way, allowing everybody to express themselves freely with minimal regard for civil discourse. We can’t always bottle up our passions with forced politeness, now can we? Not when we have a garden to run. Not when spring is in the air on midwinter day.

Frog is upset with his fellow members.

“Spring? We are already talking about spring? Do you realize it is the middle of January? One little Green pokey comes out of the ground


and we are prepared to declare that spring is in full bloom. Sometimes I feel like when I am in your company I am attending a convention of chipmunks.”
Stone Bunny defends her observation from yesterday, “but Frog, you saw the little green pokey yesterday and there are a bunch more today. Look.”


Frog retorts “Bunny, you adorable little ninnny. For one, those are snowdrops. They hardly count.  Two, have you ever observed that a premature green shoot which comes up in the woods in January may turn into a miserable yellow shoot in February after it has been subjected to another hard freeze?”
Gnome leaps to Bunny’s defense. “Frog, you cross the line. You may not call Bunny a ninny. And you must admit that a little green pokey coming out of the ground like that, no matter how premature, is indeed a harbinger of spring. Spring is on the way. Look around, man.”


Stone Puppy jumps right into the fray. “He’s right ,you know, Frog. We’ve turned the corner.”

Bunny is not backing down.
“I didn’t say spring was in full bloom, Fraawwg! I said I see a little green pokey. And today I see more. I think that’s exciting and it IS a sign of spring, thank you.”

Frog always under estimates bunny’s fiber. Bunny may be excitable and a little bit giddy but she’s tough.

Frog has had enough. “Speak to me about spring in March when the Vernal Equinox occurs. I would gladly discuss spring at that time thank you.”

The others all look at each other. Frog has done it again. He has boxed himself into a ridiculous, untenable position. Spring will be well on the way to mature bloom by the equinox. Everyone knows that. Be real Frog. What, are you going to ignore the snowdrops and the crocus and the grape hyacinths and a million other green growing things. Be Real!!

Clay Pig hums a little tune and lets the others rant.
Iron Turtle bides his time. Turtle loves when frog gets on a high horse and boxes himself in. Turtle is so often the one that takes the contrary position and riles his fellow members. He loves when Frog does it instead. Of course, Turtle knows that he only does it because he has to convince the others do things the right way.

Mary is compelled to restore order. “Okay that’s quite sufficient, thank you everyone. Frog, I think you know you are being ridiculous. Sometimes you act like our garden is a four channel TV set. Just click from one season to the next. You know that is not how it happens. Our garden is a lovely continuum of constant change and dynamic interplay between the weather and the plants. Now, Shall we move onto a more productive conversation?

Frog looks them all in the eyes but does not say a word. He knows he was being ridiculous but for this moment he still considers them to be a akin to a convention of chipmunks. He does admit to himself, though, that the direct frontal attack on Stone Bunny was probably not effective.

Mary presses on. She’s not worried. She knows frog will come around . He can be a good guy when he feels like it. “Lets focus on something obvious. How about the oregano? Ref planted a little pot of oregano a few years ago and it has grown wild right in the middle of the sandbox garden. Right here by me.


Here it is today:


It doesn’t look like much right now but look at the yarrow trying to grow up through it.


Remember how the oregano used to be near the yarrow but now it is consuming the yarrow. What shall we do? Turtle, you’ve been quiet today. What do you think?”

“Move it all to the West side – every single bit of it – put it in a patch where the ref is going to burn brush this Spring. Dare the deer to eat it.”
“Great Idea!”
“You bet,”
“Good thinking Turtle.”
Turtle has a good idea and the gang runs with the positive energy.

“Well, on that happy note. let’s call it a day “says Mary

“Okay” says Gnome, “but first let’s say goodbye to the sledding hills.”