BUT...... on that silly list of 50 things to do in 2012, there is the one that has to do with seeing the colors and noticing the details so I am just going to do that. For example , yesterday I pruned back the roses. This is a job that I assumed a few years ago and actually kind of enjoy doing. I don't know what I am doing. I don't have any knowledge of roses (except that they are pretty). I do know that they thrive if they are pruned back in winter. So I get out there sometime in late December or early January and prune away.
We have had some cold mornings this week but, by early afternoon, the temperature has been getting mild enough for yard work. Yesterday, I headed out to the front yard (in my plaid flannel pj pants and dark blue sweatshirt), dragging a yard waste can and carrying small pruning shears and a glass of iced tea. Yup, you read that correctly, iced tea. The first thing that got me attention was those lousy thorns. The little pointy ones can be just as nasty as the big incisor ones. But the other thing I noticed was the color of the rose bush stem. Who would have thought that it would be this lovely shade of red/maroon/deep pink? But check out those thorns!
I went down the front sidewalk, pruning and trimming as if I knew what I were doing. The roses can be spectacularly beautiful when they first flame out in May. The retaining wall becomes a wall of red roses along the sidewalk and they just sing the praises of spring. I was pleasantly surprised to notice among the bare branches and the thorns that there were still a few clusters of lonely summer roses, holding on, hoping to brighten the world for just a while longer. But chop, chop, they went to pieces.
Because, you see, there were a lot more of these leftover roses than there were of the summer survivors.. Tinged with fallish brown, broken leaves, speckled yellow and general winter drudge, they do not make me smile. They make me miss the summer season long gone. Funny thing is though, I can also look ahead and say, "Hey, May! Come on over!" Really, she will be here in five months. The wall of roses will be adored by passersby and I have the perfect view from my studio window.