Day 56

After my misguided tramp through the thousand acre woods last week, I set out today toward the tame iris gardens in town, where I expected few surprises: sturdy sidewalks, hay-like brush, brown leaves, fallow fields.

Alas, purple irises were poking up through the fallen leaves, and a rainbow of blooms stood in stark contrast to the slate grey sky and silhouettes of bare trees.

Irises in November? Roses beside the pumpkin patch?

Al Gore is right, I thought. Global warming is messing everything up.

Raking up falling leaves in shorts and shirtsleeves the week before Thanksgiving, it’s hard not to look for signs of global warming everywhere, or to recall that saying about the lion laying down with the lamb…you know the one I mean, right? 

“This can’t be good,” I said to a gardener tending the rhizomes. “These irises aren’t supposed to be blooming in November, are they?”

If I’d had the nerve I’d have asked him to comment on the Al Gore / Revelations connection, but I just couldn’t find a way to frame the question — Al Gore or Revelations, whadaya think, is it the end of the world, or what?

Boy, am I glad I didn’t ask.

Because the gardener, Douglas Booth, set me straight. Those irises are supposed to be blossoming in autumn. They are second bloomers, and can be counted on for two rounds of bearded lady blooms before the frost. 

So the purple irises in November have nothing to do with Al Gore. They neither prove, nor disprove,  the threat of global warming. To say nothing about the lions laying down with the lambs.

 The natural order isn’t always what we think it’s supposed to be. I’m not sure how Al would take it if I told him. But it sure is food for thought.