Spring proceeds in fits and starts here on the Maine coast.  We had April weather in March so the magnolia trees are already losing their tulip blossoms to the wind, but then we had March in April so the tulips themselves are just opening and nodding to brighten our days.  There was a bit of snow day before yesterday, but now the drone of lawnmowers carries everywhere on a warm capricious breeze.

But we’re gone from The Ram into The Bull, and with the full moon Annie is taking aim at the garden.  While we wait for the rototilling man to turn the peat, alfalfa, and our very own seaweed and horse manure into the soil, she is busy germinating seeds.  Not being a gardener, I supposed you just poked seeds down into little pots and waited for God or DNA or Mother Nature (to cite the Holy Trinity) to work their miracle.

(And what a miracle it is: I remember a sproutist in Hawaii first showing me in 1977 the difference between germinated and ungerminated food.  He took sunflower seeds and put them in a jar of water overnight. Next morning, he drained them and bid me compare: the regular raw sunflower seeds – heavy, chewy, oily, yum – versus these germinated ones – light, crispy, way differently flavoured, even more yum!  The only difference was the overnight germination, the activation of dormant life.  Later, when they were fully sprouted, he ground them into ice cream.  He was a bit of a nutter about living by Genesis 1:23, easier on Maui than out here.)

But Annie is not taking any such miracle for granted, and is watching over her charges like a mother hen – spraying them, patting them, taking them closer or farther away from the stove or the sunlight as conditions change, clucking over the dozens of little plastic pots.  Honestly, she looks like she’s about to sit on them, wiggle in, and stay there until they hatch.

Such is the broodiness of the dedicated gardener in early spring.


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