A Garden Diary
When the first cricket sings

There’s been a lot of bad news recently about climate change. The president is setting up a commission because some people think it’s a hoax. Others say that the world is at a tipping point. For myself, I like to look out the window.

The first robins arrived in my garden on February 9. Last year they arrived on February 18.
How do I know that? Because I keep a garden diary.

Thomas Jefferson observed that the red maples bloomed as early as February 18 outside the window of his study at Monticello in Virginia. So he noted it in his diary.

I keep a record of when migratory birds arrive, when crickets first sing, and the day that daffodils bloom. Not because it’s important to anyone else, but because it makes me smile.

Like a guestbook with the names and dates of old friends, a garden diary offers a connection to the natural world and the reassurance that -- at least for now -- life continues.

On sleepless nights, I’ve noted that lightning bugs return sometime between May 8-18 each year, untroubled by gravity, floating skyward.

For Jefferson, they first appeared on May 8.