– Marnie Lacouture

Goodbye April. In April the rain reigned and the wind blew, sometimes fiercely, while I was indoors wishing for warmer spring-like weather to head out and explore. Despite the rain, our dogs insisted that we walk twice a day. They set the pace, having their own sniffing and discovering to do.

Several days ago, I found a Carolina wren fledgling flapping to get out of a plastic tub in our open shed. I took it to a nearby brush pile, while the parents chipped and chirped, and was reminded that while I’m waiting for spring, spring isn’t waiting for me.

Photos: Marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris) left; Bird-foot violet (Viola pedata) right

April is the month of marsh-marigolds (Caltha palustris) blooming in a small creek that runs through our property. They don’t mind the dispiriting April weather, and they never fail to cheer. Forty-three years ago, when we moved to Arcadia, they were a delightful surprise around Easter, as they have been ever since. This year with all the rain, they seem more abundant than ever.

As the marsh marigolds fade and April turns to May, lovely bird-foot violets (Viola pedata), their leaves shaped like a bird’s foot, begin to open on the steep eastern bank of the dirt road where we live. The soil is gravelly and dry, adding to the wonder that anything grows in it. The violets add pleasure to the early morning dog walk, promising more wildflowers in the days and months ahead. Welcome May.