It's been a while, (okay, a long while) since I've been to any sort of wild pagan celebration of the May. At my age, any personal fertility is long gone (and not missed), and I have no desire to cavort around midnight bonfires on hilltops in a celebration of the life force. I also think Robert Herrick's advice to the virgins (to make much of time) is pretty funny; he seems not to have realized that there are plenty of diems left to carpe even for us old folks. But this May is pretty spectacular, so after a long, cold, discontented winter, fertility is worth celebrating.
Given that I'm a fan of tall grass (and not a fan of mowing any more than absolutely necessary to keep the weed police off my back), our back yard is a favorite place for birds to seek nesting materials. The grackles are particularly funny as they leap up and down with their preferred pieces of whatever before finally deciding to fly off with their choice. With the amount of birdsong I'm hearing and the amount of birdseed going into the feeders, I suspect there is a fair amount of nest-building going on in our trees. The neighbor has already spotted a wren making use of her hanging birdhouse, so we are likely to have lots of activity on our block.
The Oriental poppies are wildly enthusiastic this year. Despite having their original soil covered up when the regrading was done last June, and despite (or perhaps because of?) the digging done for the foundation repair, they are now officially attempting to take over the entire front planting bed. Their outrageous orange blossoms are visible from the end of the street, and they display their fringed sexual parts in a most flagrant way--no subtlety about them, and they're gorgeous!
And the back yard is turning into a tree nursery. I had always read that any unmown field in these parts would attempt to rejoin the Great Eastern Forest, and I believe it. In the old dog run, in the shade garden where there's not enough grass to mow, in the meadow bed, and in the parts of the yard where mowing has not yet happened, we have quite a tree nursery. Of the species I can identify, we have seedlings of white oak, wild cherry, white pine, ash, sugar maple, sweet gum, crabapple, and LOTS of dogwood. What we'll do with them all, I don't know, but Mother Nature has decided to be profligate with the gift of trees this year.
Despite all the bad news about our planet, there's obviously life in the old girl yet.