Thursday, March 5, 2009

#1 Sure Sign of Spring

What is the one sure-fire, never-miss, bonafide sign that spring is on its way to Chicagoland? No, it’s not the first crocus elbowing its way up through the earth. Nor is it the robin’s jubilant wake-up call.

It’s the arrival of the big trucks!

Like clockwork they make their appearance shortly before spring arrives. First, in mid-February, we hear the approaching rumble of the village tree-pruning squads in their bucket trucks…
Pruner 2
Nary a dead nor errant branch escapes their notice. I’m always happy to see the trees get a good shaping-up, but they look conspicuously bare at the moment—like a young boy with a too-short haircut, his newly exposed ears and forehead gleaming against tanned skin. But they’ll fill in nicely again soon.

Occasionally a whole tree has to go and that’s sad. This one used to stand just across the cul de sac from our house. The trunk was half hollow from some ailment or other. We’ll miss its shade this summer.
After the bucket-truck brigade come the road repair crews. The winter snowplowing has left its mark on our streets, and there are potholes everywhere. I missed my chance to get a photo of these trucks today—but that’s not what you came to a garden blog for anyway, is it? How about this instead:
This intriguing live sculpture graces the entrance to a truck company near here. In summer it’s surrounded by a pretty patch of annuals. (My apologies for lopping off the “T”—I left my glasses in the car when I jumped out to snag this shot. Time for a large-print camera…)

Not exactly an idea I’d choose to replicate in my own front yard, but it makes me smile every time I pass. I’d love to get the story on it—Whose idea was it? Who maintains it so perfectly? But I can’t quite bring myself to wander into a truck yard full of burly men and inquire about their topiary and posies. I’m hoping to catch the pruner in action some day and maybe mosey over for a chat.

So that’s that. The big trucks have arrived, and spring can’t be far behind. Patience, my friend!


  1. That hedge is hilarious. We've also been seeing the tree pruning trucks. I wish they put more thought into it instead of hacking away at them.

  2. Don't you love the hedge? I know what you mean about the hacked trees. It makes me especially sad to see how they chop up the ones that happen to lie under power lines. To be fair though, I do have to say that they've done a pretty good job here in our neighborhood.

  3. The topiary hedge works for me. It's much more attractive than a billboard. A sure sign of spring here is smoke in the air from the burning prairie.

  4. Hi, Mr. McGregor's Daughter--I agree completely about the billboard thing. And I forgot about the prairie blazes! It's fascinating to me to see how everything fills back in after being burned to the ground. Won't be long now.


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