March in Iowa is usually a spring month, but one that can have lots of winter—and in some years, winter lingers well into that month.
This year was a cool, but mild March. Both snow and rain fell, but we tended to rain with no persistent snow pack. All month, signs of impending spring were around, with flowers poking up out of the thawing grounds, and, a bit over halfway through the month, early flowers bursting forth.
Now it is April, and although snow would still not be abnormal, spring is taking hold. They are small and not terribly numerous yet, but on a warm afternoon you notice that there are insects again in the world—gnats on a bike trail or tiny spring bees darting among the squill.We have entered phase 2 of Iowa spring. In my garden, April 2 is the day that the first hyacinth, daffodil and tulip all bloomed. Most tulips are not even showing buds yet, and some in front have been eaten by rabbits, but the early ones are in bloom. Many more daffodil buds, but just one flower today.
The trees are bare, but many are showing swelling buds. The magnolia has not yet bloomed, but its buds are cracking. Lilac bushes are staring to have the “bunch of grapes” look of flower buds. Crab apples are pushing out their first early spring leaves, which have not really unfurled yet.
I am pleased to see lots of clover in the muddy back yard that features only limited grass. I had almost no clover there last year and planted a bunch. I hope this summer features a blooming lawn. All around, the brown world has shifted, as yards are starting to show that the grass is waking up.
And in this season of isolation, enjoying signs of new life is especially important. Nature carries on, so will we!