When I was little May Day was magical. It seemed like it was the day the promise of Spring was met and the time of warmth was called in. I recall sneaking in and out of neighbors yards picking rhododendrons, daffodils and peonies to make into little bouquets to leave on the porches of strangers. The magic of these little gifts, collected stealthily by me and left for people that could never thank me made me giddy. I remember vividly the excitement that grew everyday of April as the flowers began to bloom and the days lengthened in earnest.
As spring progresses into summer here, I’ve learned that there are flushes of wildflowers that mark the sublte changes of the seasons outside of the realm of the calendar. The fireweeds flush in June just before the foxglove. And the the hardhack in August along with Goldenrod, and followed by Tansy. By September pearly everlasting has surely made its puffy appearance. The roadsides are covered in St. Johns wort near Solstice. Wood violets bloom in early March as do the trillium. Cultivated daffodils are the first hit of color I see when the weather is still a bit cold. And the blooming of the wild cherry tells me it time to plant to garden. And when the the trees have truly greened the land is covered in a swath of yellow dandelions than can make a person gasp and soften the heart of the most dedicated weed-hater.
On sunny afternoons I gather the buds and pull the tender yellow petals from their bitter green bracts and brew a small batch of dandelion wine. I pick buds and make them into sour pickles , I add tender green leaves along with pulled apart flower buds to salads and I watch my daughter chew on the flower ends and then squirm as the bitter taste hits her tongue and the yellow pollen coats her cheeks.
My yard and this Valley are covered in a blanket of small fuzzy flowers. It has been a mild spring and warm weather has brought the flowers a bit early, everywhere I look they broadcast their sunny message and let me know that that spring is indeed here.