Getting a Glimpse Of Summer Weather

Every now and then, we get a glimpse of what is to come. This week, we had one day in the the high 70s, but then we had snow on Sunday morning. While it did not stick because the ground is warm, nevertheless, it was in the air.

I traveled through the Allegheny National Forest this week to arrive at a meeting. I noticed the May apples growing along the road. They always remind me of my mother-in-law. She loved those little apples. My husband always made a trip to bring back may apples and leeks for his mother. You did not need many leeks to make a sandwich. A little bit of the leek with some lettuce and mayo is very good.

I also saw some trillium in blossom. I sent for some trillium plants one year to put into my flower bed. They are in blossom now too. They are planted beneath a tree and they seem to be thriving with the abundance of shade.

My tulips are nearly gone. Each season that I see them I remember my great-grandmother. She had a whole bed of tulips that came directly from Holland. She came over from there. Some irises are once again in bloom. The smaller variety of rhododendron has passed its peak. Usually it is at its peak on Mother’s Day, but not this year.

Years ago my husband transplanted some dogwood from the pasture to our yard. I thought by the way the one tree looked that I was going to lose it over the winter. This year the blossoms are mostly at the top, but the leaves seem to be filling in. I will just have to wait to see how good it looks. The second one is doing beautifully. It is down near my white picket fence and it looks great. Legend has it that the tree will never grow large enough to become part of the cross associated with the crucifixion. The blossoms have what look like spots of blood on them. I would hate to lose either of those trees. They remind me so much of my husband and his love for nature.

The warm weather has brought a change in wardrobe as well. The shorts have come out as have the short sleeves. I have taken out my short sleeved shirts, but have not worn my short pants yet.

Yesterday I attended my grandson’s last track meet. It was the only one held at home. Sorry to say it was not an ideal day. It was cold, windy, and rainy. I lasted for about forty-five minutes, but by that time my jeans were wet clear through and they were dripping into my shoes. I saw the long jump where he took third place, but I missed the high jump where he came in second and the relay. This was his first year doing track and he really liked it.

Spring is also the time for animal babies. Each time I make a trip up or down the road I check the pasture at Meldick Farms. There are some new lambs that are oh so cute when they bob up and down playing with each other. The calves stick close to their moms. They hunker down in the grass so it is easy to miss them.

Years ago we made a trip to my cousin’s house near Brocton, NY. Her husband was digging out columbine. My husband planted some tame strains with beautiful double blossoms. He decided to supplement them by adding some of the wild variety.

By now the wild ones that we brought back from my cousin’s house have taken over. I have columbines everywhere. The flowers are preparing to open soon so I will have an abundance of deep purple flowers. The birds have dispersed the seeds to most of the flower beds. They are getting to be a nuisance. I can understand why Lowell was getting rid of some of his.

Yesterday when my lawn was mowed there was a section they were unable to mow because it was just too wet. I have yet to put my rain gauge out so I am not sure exactly how much rain we had.

My herb bed awaits. I have already used fresh chives in many dishes. I love them with cottage cheese. Last fall I moved some plants indoors to have herbs to use throughout the winter. As soon as the frost is past I will move them out. I also bought a couple new plants to supplement what I have.

I am still looking for some parsley. I really like the flat leaf variety, but I would settle for the lacy kind as well. Herbs add so much flavor to dishes. Fresh ones are the best, but the dried ones will do if you rub them between your fingers to wake them up before you add them.

The world is filled at this point with gorgeous flowers on the blossoming tees. I love the look, but my allergies kick up. I sneeze, my eyes run, and so does my nose. I keep the allergy medicine handy during this time of year.

My daughter let me know the rhubarb is ready. I am the biggest consumer of this tart spring treat. Maybe I can cut some tomorrow morning and make some sauce. I will see my cousin over the weekend and I think she might enjoy a tasty treat.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa. Contact her at