1. My SGAD (Seasonal Gardening Antsiness Disorder – obviously a DSM-verified condition :P) has returned with a VENGEANCE. Behold, the saddest garden of all time.
As I thoroughly documented last summer, I took my gardening to new metaphorical heights last year with the addition of my oh-so accidentally hipster gardening bed, “my” (by which I mean my landlord’s) beloved old claw-foot bathtub. The benefit of this bathtub–aside, of course, from being able to tell people I was growing tomatoes in a bathtub–is that it’s obviously much larger than any pot I could possibly buy at Home Depot or any gardening store, and consequentially gives me the opportunity to kind of ish garden in the ground, rather than in a container. There’s more space to work with, more space for my plants to grow, and a significantly lower risk of squirrel-induced death to the container itself.
Believing that I had myself a “real” (i.e.: in the ground) garden, I spent a substantial portion of last summer dreaming of what kind of spring bulbs I could plant in the tub come fall (since you have to plant bulbs just before the ground freezes in order for them to come up in the spring). Visions of a tub full of tulips and daffodils danced in my head, and on a Monday evening in November, I carted $90 worth of bulbs out to my bathtub for a planting party for one.
Into the garden went dozens of tulip and daffodil bulbs, plus some surprise crocus bulbs the company from which I bought the bulbs included with my order. It turned out to be way more of a task than I anticipated, since you have to bury bulbs really deep in the ground, but I finished the night filled with excitement over what March would bring.
Spoiler alert: so far, March has brought NOTHING. 😡
I started to get worried three weeks ago, when I saw a bunch of daffodils sprouting up next to a house on my walk to therapy. I figured maybe those daffodils were just different than my daffodils, and since I didn’t see anything else anywhere anyway, I figured it was a fluke. The following week, it seemed like every house along my way to therapy had spring bulbs sprouting up – the aforementioned daffodils had even already budded. I checked on my bathtub garden, and still nothing. I consoled myself with the reminder that 1) it was still very early in March and there was no reason why my bulbs had to be coming up yet and 2) my therapist’s office’s neighborhood is far away from my neighborhood, and I hadn’t noticed any spring bulbs sprouting in my neighborhood, so maybe I was just imposing unrealistic timelines on my side of town.
Well, on Saturday I was walking down my block and passed a house with a garden full of sprouted, budded, and blooming crocuses, while my bathtub continues to show no signs of any growth whatsoever. Boo 😦
I’ve consulted with my mother twice about this now, whose main reassurance has been that, “if they don’t sprout, you can dig them up and use them next year!” Not helpful. I want tulips NOW. Well, maybe not tulips specifically, but evidence that they are at least growing NOW. I especially want tulips NOW because my landlord, the over-eager gardening assistant, footed a major part of the bulb-buying bill as penance for digging up my tomato plant and throwing it away WHILE IT STILL HAD TOMATOES ON IT last fall. Even though the money was just to make up for the destruction he had wrought upon my poor vegetable and herb garden all summer long, I still feel obligated to have tulips back there since he paid for well over half of them. My mom also consulted with one of her friends, who suggested that perhaps because the entirety of the bathtub is exposed (as opposed to real ground, where only the top is exposed), maybe the ground is staying frozen longer, thus preventing my bulbs from sprouting. I’m sure the fact that it’s only getting direct sunlight for like two hours a day isn’t helping in that department, either. I, however, am worried I didn’t bury them deep enough in the first place, and they all froze and died over the winter 😦
Anyway, this is a source of unending angst for me lately. I know tulip season will last for another two months or so, so there’s really no reason to completely give up hope quite yet. But when I’m seeing the beginnings of tulips (and well developed daffodils and crocuses) coming up in everyone else’s gardens, it’s certainly hard to remain optimistic
2. In more positive news in the signs-of-spring-I-have-absolutely-no-control-over department, I’m so excited about the birds I’ve seen lately!
The beginnings of spring migration season are upon us, and while the glut of visiting birdies won’t arrive until the first couple of weeks in May, I’ve noticed a few signs of impending spring in the avian world. A little less than a month ago, I heard my first cardinal song of 2018, and two weeks ago on my run, I saw my first red-winged blackbird for the year along the Lakefront Trail!
Not my video, but so you know what I mean by a cardinal song, as opposed to a cardinal call, which is more of just a peep rather than a song.
I don’t know exactly why cardinals sing, because the internet has told me they sing to attract a mate and that they sing to mark their territory, so I don’t know which reason is true (or if they’re both true). What I do know is that cardinals don’t sing in the winter, so hearing this sound once a week or so on my morning commutes has been quite the treat! Male cardinals are also known for their tendency to defend their territory against their own reflections in windows when their mating hormones are especially raging, and I observed that behavior under the most ridiculous of circumstances last week. My commute takes me past a building where I’ve seen cardinals many, many times (though usually just one at a time). I saw one male fighting his reflection in the window of that building last week, which wasn’t particularly notable in and of itself, but became much more notable when I continued walking past the building and saw, less than 30 feet away, another male cardinal also fighting his reflection in another window of the same building. Guys. You have an actual threat to your territory within easy flying distance, and you’re wasting all of your time fighting yourself?! I was extremely amused.
Not migration-related, but I did have a new-to-me bird sighting while running along the lake last Saturday! I noticed some waterfowl that did not appear to be your standard Mallard Ducks and got closer to investigate. As I approached the lake, I realized I had lost the birds. I hadn’t noticed them fly away, so I was perplexed, until I saw them pop up from under the water! Diving birds! Awesome! I couldn’t get a good picture, but I noticed that one seemed to have a very shaggy haircut, so I used Merlin to try to identify my birds and knew immediately after seeing a picture of the Red-breasted Merganser that that was what I had seen. They’re apparently fans of Great Lakes diving for fish, hence the behavior I witnessed. It was all very exciting (for me, at least) and I hope I can add even more new-to-me birds to my life list as spring wears on 🙂
3. I’ve been a dreaming machine lately, and I’m super over it. I know everyone dreams every night, which of course means than I dream every night, too, but usually my dreams come and go without incident, totally unnoticed aside from my Fitbit registering REM sleep. I’m not spending much more time in REM these days than normal, but I’m waking up from dreams way more frequently over the past couple weeks and it’s driving me nuts. It’s particularly disruptive because I keep waking up from dreams that feel 100 percent like reality, meaning when I do wake up, I’m in this frantic state of trying to remember what’s real and not real in my life. I am not a fan and would like to submit a formal request to my brain that it knocks this nonsense off, please and thank you.
Have you ever grown spring bulbs? Please, give me some hope 😦
Do you usually remember your dreams?