We can feel a shift out of spring and into early summer. In t-shirts and bare feet, with our lunches out on a sunny deck, we utter words not spoken for so many months, it’s hot! The cat takes refuge in the garden, a shady patch of grass cooler than the baking wooden planks.
There is an urgency to May. Flowers bloom in abundance and the bees are so very busy. They collide with moths and butterflies, all out to feast on the plethora of pollen. Songbirds sing at dawn and dusk and chatter all the hours in between. Everyone is out and about. I ran into two fox babies on the road around the corner from home the other day and almost stepped on a lanky black snake who was out sunning himself on the steps this morning.
Enzyme syrups are sweeping the nation. Well, actually, they’ve swept the nation and are likely now so very 2022? 2021? I don’t know because I’m late to fads. A natural suspicion of mob mentality prevents me from ever being on trend in anything. I observe, study, consider, and only adopt those that linger in my consciousness and seem a good fit to my lifestyle, at which point just about everyone else has moved on to the next shiny thing. Actually this is a case of weed control disguised as wildcrafting for a (no-longer) trendy digestif. Azami are everywhere, their feathery inflorescence a contrast to spiky leaves studded with the sharpest of needles. But said flowers turn to fluff like dandelions and aloft on pappus wings, the seeds scatter every which way on the wind only to crop up as more azami the next year. Finding ways to employ the flowers in the kitchen seems the most defensible justification for lopping off the blossoms before they bolt.
Mixed with thick rounds of lemon and beet sugar, I’ll let this mixture lacto-ferment into an aromatic and tasty tincture used to dose a tall glass of cold sparkling water, a cocktail, or a dessert,
It’s only the first week of May but as I gaze at the fallen petals of my Japanese snowball and May Bush strewn about like confetti left on the floor after the revelers have all gone home, already I feel a nostalgia for this season of brand new abundance.