Wednesday, April 04, 2012
A gush of bird-song, a patter of dew,
A cloud, and a rainbow's warning,
Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue--
An April day in the morning.
- Harriet Prescott Spofford, April
After a brief taste of summer, Mistress Weather returned us to a more typical spring season. Gardeners across the region are getting their hands dirty preparing vegetable gardens for planting and finding early annuals to bring color to April’s rainy days. My husband and I still have a LOT of work to do with the landscaping and yard around the house we bought last year and the work will probably take us a few years to make it as we dream it can be. We do plan to have a small kitchen garden this year, though, and I have been working my way through books about smaller gardens to figure out the best crops for my space. Now I just have to hope for a few days without rain so I can get the planting started…
Rain is not the only form of shower to watch for in April. The Lyrid Meteor Shower happens in the skies April 20 – April 21, with best viewing predicted for pre-dawn hours. Set your alarm for 2:00 am (or just make it a “star party” and stay up all night!), grab a blanket and a lawn chair (or an old camping mattress like my mom and I used to do) and head outdoors to take in the show. Think it might be too bright in your neighborhood to see anything? Join the National Capital Astronomers group at their first Exploring the Sky event for 2012 on April 21. If you miss this one, don’t worry—there are other meteor showers throughout the year, most notably the Perseids in August.