Even after having lived here since earliest boyhood, the wonderful springtime flowering of our city comes each year as a breathtaking surprise.
In the boulevard medians and on the property lines between houses are magnificent fencerows — mountains almost — of golden forsythia.
The white crowns of Bradford pears, rising behind and above rooftops, resemble low-hanging clouds.
And the late-unfolding pink blossoms of tulip trees in many yards of the neighborhood — showy but not long-lasting — are now fully open but already starting to shed their petals.
Coming home from an errand and leaving the car in the driveway, we noticed in a shady area at the side of the house a wash of purple — a delicate sprinkling of wild violets we hadn’t seen before.
Of special interest to us are the Lycoris squamigera, aptly named surprise lilies or resurrection lilies.
With winter nearing its end, they push up bravely through the snow, their greenery expanding into what resembles a lush bed of irises. But as the season progresses, their foliage withers.
Then suddenly in late summer, nature offers its unexpected treat. Out of the barren earth and shriveled foliage rise the surprise lilies — announcements of the final showy phase — tall, leafless stalks (hence the name “naked ladies”) each topped by three or more large pink lilies.
And when a gentle breeze caresses them, the naked ladies dance.
I’m sure there are more congenial climatic zones in which to pass a life. Places where the January temperatures never flirt with zero. Places where the spring rains come in time and quantity to make the morel mushrooms dependably emerge. And where every day is comfortable for fishing.
I’ve heard of such halcyon places. But this one has given me pleasure for all these many years. And I have no inclination whatever to change.