March 27, 2009 at 7:33 am (Little Things) (, , , , , )

So this is my second spring in Oregon.  It’s kind of amusing the things I’m noticing this year that I don’t think I ever saw last year.  Perhaps, because I know what I’m looking for now, I can see a more nuanced view of things.

One thing that I found a little depressing last year is that the deciduous trees here have bare branches for more of the year than they have leaves.  It took until May or June before most of the trees had their leaves back, and then they lose them all by the end of October.  This is still true – most of the trees still have no leaves, and it’s nearly April.

What I didn’t notice, though, is that so many of the trees that I thought were completely bare actually are not.  There’s a flowering tree all over the city that has branches just covered with pink flowers.  I noticed that one last year, because it’s kind of hard to miss.  But what I’ve seen this year is a lot of trees with little buds, or little clusters of flowers.  There is something going on there, but I was too focused on how there were no leaves to see it.

Spring and summer in Oregon are really something.  Spring sort of creeps up slowly, sometimes so slowly that it’s practically summer before you realize that winter’s really over.  Even now, with daffodils and crocuses and hyacinths blooming, the low temperature is still in the high 30s at night.

But give it about a month or a month and a half, and the rose bushes will get their leaves back.  The rhododendrons will start to bloom all over the city.  The trees will have at least some leaves.  And finally, really in the summer time, the roses will bloom.  The rose is Oregon’s state flower, and it’s definitely well chosen.  The city is absolutely covered with them in the early summer, and most of them hang on all the way through fall.

Plus, on the non-floral front, the Canadian geese have started to come back for the summer.  That’s the real mark of winter here – when the geese fly south, fall is over, and when they come back, it’s spring.

There’s a park near where I live that borders the Willamette River, and if it’s not covered in geese now, it soon will be.  They like to hang out there because there’s a lot of grass to eat, and a lot of people who feed them.  They’ll hang out with the ducks who live here year round, and sometime around the end of April or May, you’ll see ducklings and goslings hanging out together in the water.  It’s kind of hilarious, because goslings are about the size of the adult ducks.  So you get tiny little yellow fuzzballs, and great big gray fuzzballs.  It’s adorable.

The one downside of spring and summer, though, is that you have to watch out for the goose scat.  It is literally everywhere.


1 Comment

  1. Kristan said,

    Aaaahh I wanna see the cute grey and yellow fluffs together!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: