It's pussy willow season. The east coast may be deep in winter, but here in north Idaho, with so little snow and daytime temperatures in the 40s, spring has come early. We're at only 60 per cent of moisture content for this time of year,which we'll suffer for this summer as we keep a sharp eye for fires in our forested valley and surrounding mountains. But back to this first harbinger of spring.
The old pussy willow bush down by the creek is in full bloom, so I climbed a ladder to cut some branches, but the good stuff was so far over my head, Jay had to bring down his long-poled pruning saw to lop off branches for me. Trimmed up, they're now sitting in bundles on the buffet, drying, and I'll give them out to friends. When I was a kid, Mom would spray them with hair spray, but the Internet says that's unnecessary.
Must end with a poem, of course.
THE WILLOW CATS
They call them pussy-willows,
But there’s no cat to see
Except the little furry toes
That stick out on the tree:
I think that very long ago,
When I was just born new,
There must have been whole pussy-cats
Where just the toes stick through—-
And every Spring it worries me,
I cannot ever find
Those willow-cats that ran away
And left their toes behind!