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The colors of spring

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By Walt Reichert

Take a quick look around at the colors of early spring. They are ephemeral at best.

Even if the cold weather and anticipated freeze of the last couple of days don't do the dirty week, spring blossoms do not have a long shelf life. The pink and purple saucer magnolia blossoms in Grove Hill Cemetery were already littering the ground late last week. The earliest of the daffodil blossoms are already gone. Some of the rest are getting raggedy.

The star magnolia trees, blooming white next to houses on U. S. 60, have shed their petals. Weeping and Japanese cherry blossoms, delicate things, are "snowing" on lawns all over the county. Yellow forsythia bushes are getting thin of bloom.

Not all of the spring's color comes from cultivated plants. Redbuds in the woods are in full bloom now, their purplish pink blossoms cling to bare branches. Serviceberry is blooming white. Many of the local fields are full of purple flowers farmers would rather not see - henbit, a noxious weed in the mint family that loves the cool weather and spreads accordingly. Wild mustard, a formerly cultivated plant, also takes well to the cool temperatures of spring. Whole fields will be blanketed with its blooms, for a few days or weeks anyway.

While the colors out and about now will not last long, they are cherished because they replace the dreary winter landscape. And eventually they will be followed by the later spring bloomers - dogwood, viburnum, iris, peony, lilac. Plenty to see if we take time to look.