Tuesday, May 22, 2007

This Time of Year

Although it's been beautifully detailed in both prose and song, there really is nothing like late spring in the South. Early March typically heralds its arrival with unfurling of daffodils and crocuses from the ground and the most delicate buds on the trees. By April the yard is a rapidly evolving ecosystem which leaves me, Queen of the Black Thumb, constantly questioning whether the many sprouts around our home are weeds or something that I may actually want to grow.

And then there's May. Oh, May. May is, for all intents and purposes, really considered summer in my part of North Carolina. Pools open early, the buzz of air conditioners provide the soundtrack to the outdoors, and lawns already suffer due to early droughts. But the most spectacular part of May is the presence of tremendous overgrowth of flora, cloaking homes in a shadow of Kudzu and ivy, a blanket to gently deflect the summer sun. The density of green has an unusual effect: instead of appearing brighter in the summer, many locations seem more obsure, darker, more mysterious. This is Flannery O'Connor's South; the alluring, enigmatic region that I love so.