The Quarantimes Week 8: Spring, Ephemeral

May 5th, 2020

Did you know that early spring wildflowers are called spring ephemerals?

From now on I refuse to use any other phrase. According to a super helpful lady on my neighborhood email forum, Southern Vermont’s ephemerals include: Bloodroot, Spring Beauties, Dutchman’s Breeches, Hepatica, Blue Cohosh, Wild Ginger, Trout Lily, Starflower, Trillium, Wild Oats, yellow and white violets, Jack in the Pulpit and if you are near a wet area, Skunk Cabbage. 

She also mentioned that one should never pick or collect these plants. Obviously!

…unless one has two bored 5-year-olds who just received flower presses for Easter. In which case, game on. (“Only one or two of each, girls.”) 

The ephemerals are en fuego right now here in Guilford. And so, apparently, are the pollinators. I caught Phoebe trying to reach this little number with a stick this morning:

Then promptly found a few more of these under the eaves, which struck icy fear in my heart, seeing as my other daughters, Eliza, has a deadly venom allergy.

Today, however, Eliza actually completed her final week of a venom therapy protocol at Dartmouth. 15 straight weeks of driving up there every week to get a shot of actual wasp venom in one arm and yellowjacket venom in the other. A totally bananas idea that actually seems to work. Today, she received the equivalent of two stings — which is the same number of real stings that brought us to the ER last summer. She had no reaction.

My relief at this is great. It was a lot of time, a lot of driving, a lot of shots, a lot of money, and a lot of extreme anxiety on my part. And by the way, venom therapy is never over. She’ll have to get maintenance shots frequently for the rest of her life. 

But now we can go to summer camp without it being terrifying. I mean, we could go to summer camp. You know, if there were summer camp.

Ah well.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

What I’m reading:


What I’m listening to:

One episode left of Floodlines, super riveting account of the levee break following Hurricane Katrina, and the forensic analys of the disaster, from the perspective of all these years later. 

What I’m eating:

Attempted to make crackers this morning. We’ve been out of crackers for a few days and I thought, how hard can it be to make crackers? Turns out, very hard indeed. 

What I’m doing:

Having quarantine dreams about finding giant boxes of crackers on sale.

What I’m working on:

Writing about working from home, while working from home, every damned day. So meta.


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