Sunday, April 20, 2008

April Average.

There's a second robin. She's in the azalea out front of the house, underneath the bedroom window. When it rained today, she spread her wings out over the nest to keep everything dry.

After the storm, the air was so clean, so empty. Like coming home from the place with brand new eyeglasses. We're cooler. There's pollen running all in the gutters and curbs.

The first robin is as skittery as ever. Open the back door, she flies off into the disaster hedge between our house and La Vieja's. She waits for the all clear, comes back, gets herself settled back down. Then we go out the door again.

That storm took us up and over the average rainfall for the month. Everything we get after this gets aimed at our deficit for the year, gets aimed at whatever it is that happened to us starting in about August.

I pulled weeds off the herb garden after the rain. Mint, parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, chives, rosemary, another oregano. All of it wintered through. Our problem weeds: field bindweed and henbit. Three trashcans full. That's the measure of any good afternoon's work around here, though. I only have three trash cans.

It was Chianti jelly they were talking about, my brother and my sister-in-law. He was spreading Beaujolais jelly they'd made themselves, and he was telling her how they wanted $10 for a half-pint of Chianti jelly at the butcher's. What is this, he wanted to know, looking at the jar. A pint? It's a pint, she said.

There was henbit everywhere in Bloomington. In the fallow fields, it was taking over, blooming, purple, the flowers looking more like they were floating above the fields than like they were growing on the plants. Like a low, specific fog.

More rain forecast. More sun. More spring. When I tore all the grass out of the front yard and replanted with hosta and daylily and ivy and pachysandra, I thought it would be less work. Turns out it's just different work. There's henbit all over the place out there, too. Dandelions. Liriope. Tulips. Last year's miniature iris. Robins.

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