The backroom radiator isn’t just a warm place to lie down and soak in some sun. It’s my season watching perch.
Spring in Chicago is never a smooth ride. Every year I give myself permission to be a bit petulant and shake my fists at the sky. Then I roll my eyes about this predictable response to the predictable unpredictability and settle in to watch the show.
The bloom cycle of the apple tree is easy to monitor because the branches nearly touch the windows. I’ve been scowling about how doggedly cold it has been and using the bare branches to back me up. We are behind! This has indeed been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad spring.
Well, OK, if I squint and zoom, I can see some buds starting to poke out. But still, shouldn’t they be farther along by now?
I turned to Google… not to hear from the experts, but to mine my own data. It’s a little unsettling that I can search “April 4 tree” and some very clever code quickly trawls thousands of my photos for anything that looks like a tree.
And maybe it’s a little odd that I felt confident I’d taken tree pics on past April 4ths. I take *a lot* of plant photos. A few did turn up (the one from 2014 is in the slide show below).
The verdict? We are right on time. April reliably opens with barely there growth and ends in bloom, usually with some snow and cardinal sightings in between. (4/17 edit… it’s 36 degrees, grrrrrr).
In 2014, I took pictures from the same spot nearly every day April-May and then occasionally as the season pressed on. There’s a 10 day gap in the middle of April, probably due to a spring break vacation. There’s also a big time gap after between May and July–jumps from the baby to maggot stage. Wormy apples are still good for applesauce!