"So, how're you doing?"
Not wanting to answer "not much" to questions like these, but completely at a loss to suddenly produce a succinct summary of my past few days-to-years, I'll usually answer "Oh, it's a busy spring/summer/fall/winter". This is pretty much true, and, followed by some commentary on the season's weather, usually deflects the conversation to other topics (or stifles it altogether, oops).
What I'd like to say, but have a hard time thinking of when put on the spot, are many of the things that follow... my "spring-in-review" for 2010, as it were.
Crazy spring! Hot weather! Plants doing their thing way-early!
An early heat wave in late March caused some very early blooming. This spring beauty, first of the year for me, was open along the roadbank of Aunt Molly Road on March 18th. Last year, the first open flower I saw was a full week later, on March 25th.
On March 24th, a volunteer at the nursery asked me where she and her husband could go to see round-lobed hepatica that weekend. I wrote back that they were too early, and to recommend the Musconetcong Gorge Reservation, where the hepaticas range from white to deep azure limned in ivory.
Later that day, I checked the hepaticas on the wooded slope near home, and--my mistake--they were in full bloom, little furry flowerheads nodding every which way over last year's lobed leaves
April 4th, Rachel and I visited the Musconetcong Gorge with her parents, and the preceding photo of hepatica, as well as the following, of bloodroot, is from that visit.