Yesterday, driving down the road to the ridge, looking up at the hill ahead, I saw what I first took for snow in the trees–a hazy white area running along the side of the ridge, a softening in the dull brown of the bare branches there. It took me a moment to realize that what I was looking at was a swath of willows growing on the side of the hill, their catkins fully bloomed from pussy willows to open thumb-sized “blossoms” of fluff and pollen. As I drove, I noticed these patches all along the hills, and as I rounded the curve heading up the ridge, I saw the trees, their open tops hazy with fluff. It’s not the flamboyant pinks or whites of cherry or apple blossoms; just a silvery fluff, but it will do.
And the mosquitoes are out in force, dotting Mattie and Sam’s faces, in spite of the repellent I wipe on them. Again, this year I’ll look for a better solution for bugs, the down side of summer.
As of last night, the ice was getting punchy near the tripod in Nenana, with leads open by the river bank, but no news of the tripod moving yet. We’re into the range of dates we picked for it to go out this year. More on this in a later post.
School has two weeks to go. Students and faculty alike are getting restless with our long warm spell. My tomato seedlings wait by the window to be transplanted and to move to the greenhouse. The horses are nearly done with shedding and are ready for something more interesting to do.
This Saturday, the Kentucky Derby, then my long-time friend Jean Anderson and I will give a reading at the Arts Association. Somewhere in the mail, my new book from Salmon Press makes its way to me from Ireland.
There’s a lot happening–more than this, even–but for now, for the next couple of weeks, we move through the end of winter and all it means, ready to pop one day into green up, into summer, into the time that makes the Interior worth it all.