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Springtime In The Rockies

April 12, 2018

Technically it happened on March 20th. At 10:15 AM here in the Mountain Time Zone. But here in the Rockies Spring doesn’t always pay attention to the calendar.

But, we are finally into the real heart of Spring. I’ll admit that Spring isn’t my favorite time of year. That would be Fall, when the leaves are turning, we have college football, gardens are giving the last of their bounty, and the mountains are gettting their first dustings of snow.

Fall is a time of slowing down. Spring is a time for new beginnings. The leaves are just starting to bud out, we have baseball, gardens are waiting for the rototiller and the mountains are clinging to their blankets of snow. (Not as thick blankets as we would like, but at least lathe previous year was a good water year.)

I’ve looked around my yard this Spring and every corner of it seems to scream “My turn, my turn, work on me next!” I finally decided the lawn wasn’t going to get aerated this year. I put down the first fertilizer. This one is supposed to stop crabgrass. Last fall, we were battling it like an organic rash. Hopefully we’ll get out front early this year.

My trees all seemed to survive the winter intact. We planted ten maples on our lot four years ago. Planting trees is the ultimate “pay it forward” activity. When we were putting our trees in, my 14 year old son asked, “Dad, will I be able to climb on these trees?” I replied, “Well, your kids will be able to one day.” He turned back to the hole he was digging, “I hate delayed gratification.”

The nine remaining trees are now between nine and twenty feet tall. But, like my now 18 year old son, they are tall but have yet to fill out. (The tenth tree didn’t die. It turned out to be an Elm, not a Maple. I’m not growing Elms in my yard.)

Last year we built a terraced set of walls on the South side of our property. It’s a fairly steep hillside and we had previously tried to grow vegetables on it. The cantalopes rolled down the hill.

So, we got some donated dirt, and several tons of rock that a nearby construction project dug up and didn’t need, and with some help from the young men from church, we now we have three terraced walls. I dumped grass seed and fertilizer and spread peat moss over it. More commitments to the future.

We still have a garden. It’s above the terraced walls. We do a garden every year. Typically we spend about $100 buying starters, seeds, fertilizer, and tools. We probably get about $25 worth of vegetables. But, it’s about growing stuff, not saving money. And those $5 tomatoes are extra tasty.

My biggest accomplishment is what isn’t growning this year. Every year that we’ve been in our house, springtime has seen an explosion of dandelions. It’s because before we bought our house, the yard was pretty much left to its own growth patterns. My neighborhood has some very well cared for lawns. I always felt a little bad contributing dandelion seeds to the neighborhood flora.

But, I also knew that I was getting a pass. My neighbords remembered what my lot looked like before we moved in. Anything I did was an improvement. We’ve now been here about 6 years. It’s a good thing that we’ve finally conquered the worst of the weeds. I think I was finally coming to the end of my grace period.

But, everywhere you look around our fair city, Spring is breaking out. Living in a desert, it’s easy to forget that desert doesn’t mean sand dunes and cactus.

Majestic Mount Timpanogos will wear her snowy cape well into the summer, but here in the valley, Spring has definitely come to the Rockies.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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