• Dale Bowman

What's wrong with this picture (meaning of May): Ramble with the Lady

Barreling down a back road on Sunday, I had to slam on the brakes suddenly. Several stalks of wild asparagus poked vividly above the roadside grasses and weeds. I pulled over and flipped on the flashers.

That was part of the reason I had been barreling down that particular back road in the first place, it is one of my hot spots for wild asparagus.

I got out and started exploring the ditch and found a bunch of old full stalks of asparagus.

Take a look and tell me what is wrong with that picture to the right.

I'll tell you. There is no reason for wild asparagus to already be that far into the fully grown woody stage.

At least not in my world view.

To doubly aggravate me, somebody had been there well ahead of me and had cut all kinds of stalks already.

Then a man in a truck pulled over and asked if I needed help. I held my tongue (I can use all kinds of help on all kinds of things) and said, ``No, I just saw some wild asparagus.''

He was enough of an outdoors guy to not think I was completely crazy and he drove off.

How can asparagus be that far along? It snowed half the days in April and was freaking freezing most days except for that one beautiful weekend.

Maybe it was that one beautiful weekend that sparked the asparagus.

Again this morning near winter had settled in: 40s blowing in on a stiff north wind.

I will say this, the Canada geese have done their natural thing right on schedule, cold April or not.

As Lady, our family's mutt, and I crossed the side rail separating the town from the wildness of the town pond, I spotted four families of goslings being taught how graze and crap all over by adult Canada geese in the grassing areas between the two old clay pits.

I could not believe how big in size one family of goslings were already. I counted one family with eight goslings and one with seven on the north pit; then one with six big ones by the south pit and one with four on the south pit. If my math is right, that is 25 goslings, just on our town pond.

No wonder geese take over many areas.

I tried to find morels at my secondary spots and came up empty.

I neither heard nor saw no sandpipers or killdeer this morning, but the usual number of red-winged blackbirds trilled around both pits. A pair of wood ducks whistled off from a dead tree.

The only mourning doves of the morning were the pair on the wires by the grit area by the grain elevators back on the edge of town. I am guessing the cold north wind has the doves hunkered down and are waiting for the warm-up later today.

Tomorrow is to feel like May again.

The chef/cook, who runs a food truck for migrant and nursery workers, was loading up and it just smelled wonderful on the street. There is something utterly comforting in the wafting smells of burrito and taco fillings cooking.

Next to him, I noticed the flower shop has many hanging baskets, beautiful in another sense (sight). The owner is ready for Mother's Day. I need to stop by and get my order in. I think it is important to shop local.

Signs of spring and May mount, even in town.

I digress.

Lady again rousted the rabbit by the evergreens across the alley from the bus barn downtown, a rabbit that taunted her half an hour earlier on our way out of town.

Back home, Lady busted up the front steps, flushing only a few finches and sparrows. I think even they are hunkered down.

Just waiting on that real May weather.

I have faith.

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