Harbingers of Spring

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
It’s no secret. Spring has been on its way to the North woods for quiet some time now. Despite the gusty wind, today saw temperatures of nearly 60 degrees and the air holds a softness that must mean spring.

A lot of good signs have been popping up.

Like pussywillows: 
Or suitcases waiting by the front door.
 (No, they're not packed yet!)

Some signs, not so good:

Granted, I’m not sure that the fire danger in the area is truly “high.” After a couple major wildfire events in the last few years, the locals are on heightened alert. And they’re right to worry until the trees bud out. Things are looking really, really dry. By all accounts we should still be out skiing.

But then things have been a little odd this year. . .

I went into the bathroom and noticed this:
For a couple weeks now I’ve been really excited that my dormant Christmas cactus is putting on new leaves. Does anyone know what Christmas cactus leaf buds look like? I’m starting to suspect that what I thought were new Christmas cactus leaves are in actuality, Christmas cactus flowers.

Flowers?! At the end of March? Right when I’m about to leave on vacation for a month? Not only are we a good nine months off from Christmas, I’m going to miss the flowering Christmas cactus! As Tina Fey would say: BLERG!

These days I find myself finishing up articles and other projects that won’t be worried about again until nearly a month from now. I wonder when exactly I’m going to find time to pack and do laundry before the trip and I fear I will not get around to throwing everything out of the fridge that is going to go bad while we’re gone.

Oh yes, spring, or something like it, is right around the corner.


  1. Hi Ada,
    Where are you these days? 3 of my Christmas cacti are blooming right now...the buds are whitish and round, whereas new leaves are light green and flat. They both sprout out of the ends of the old leaves, though.
    Happy Spring!

  2. Pamela,

    Thanks for the confirmation: I'm pretty sure these are flowers forming. It's good to know I'm not the only one with unseasonal Christmas cacti. I wonder why that is. Everything I've read says that they flower about every 10 months (although you can 'train' them to bloom at Christmas) but this plant flowered this last October.

    I'm "home" sort of, living north of Grand Marais on the Gunflint Trail. Where are you and what are you up to?!

  3. Hi Ada,
    I'm down in Eagan, trying to get out of one of those "empty" stretches of art Picasso is talking about in your quote. (I'm stuck trying to find a cow on a merry-go-round or carousel to photograph.)
    Mine tend to bloom around Thanksgiving/Christmastime and Easter, when the seasonal light change is most pronounced. Sometimes they skip a season and don't bloom at all. Right now, my biggest and original one appears to be dying; it's turning purple and withering. Whether it needs fertilizer, a bigger pot, or something else, I don't know. But it's blooming again! I don't bother with the "dark closet for 2 weeks and limited water" bit--they bloom when they want to once they're big enough, and it's always a happy, hassle-free surprise for me! Your picture is definitely a flower bud! The good news is, it'll be ok without water for 2 weeks. :)
    Have a good trip!


Related Posts with Thumbnails