I’m the last one to complain about all the rain around here. My sturdiness in the face of gloom is a point of pride and a significant irritation to my friends so now I can’t gripe even if I felt like it. And I’m not complaining about the rain now. But it sure has been cold around here this spring.

Not too chilly for me personally. Temps in the forties are good mail-carrying weather. But nothing’s coming up. The soil is too cold. Everything’s all bunched up below the surface, sulking. First warm day it’s going to rocket out of the ground all at once. It’ll probably be audible.

I’ve got some spring projects all ready to go. Two large areas that are to be seeded with a spiffy new prairie-lawn. The seed people say I have to wait until the soil warms up above fifty degrees, which it hasn’t, but it’s not just that. First I need to redistribute the compost so that it’s level, and put the excess into my other beds, but everything’s too wet. It’s fudge city out there. Even the squirrels are sinking in up to their little nuts. You dig in even an inch and you turn up earthworms the size of a man’s, let’s say, thumb.

It’s probably water-weight.

Meanwhile I haven’t seen Spear One of my asparagus. For thirty years that stuff has poked up within a day of April Fool’s Day. It’s three weeks late. I know it’s hunkering just below the surface like nuclear missiles in their silos, waiting for the all-clear, and then it’s going to blast out of there. We do have the usual over-slathering of bulbs, especially grape hyacinths and scillas every the hell where, because those buggers are going to come up even if you bury them six feet under. All the other perennials are giving their slumbering perennial neighbors the side-eye and saying “I will if you will” but nobody’s going first. It’s all brown sticks and daffodils around here.

And all that would be okay if it was just about me. I might look out over the sodden landscape and think “hard green tomatoes in October” but that’s not the actual end of the world, which is still in the next aisle over. My needs and wants are not important. This messes with a lot more folks than little me.

My east-coast friends are yammering about how everything came up two weeks early and isn’t it mild and they’re probably looking at their first garden BLT right about now, and it’s still not good news. Fortunes change from year to year, but they’re really not supposed to ricochet like this. Climate change isn’t a matter of oh-boy we’re getting two extra weeks of bikini season. You get that early warmth and the bugs bust out from wherever they’ve been parking it for the winter. But if you get the coolth we’re having, they stay under the covers until someone turns the heat on.

Which is all well and good unless you’re a little warbler who has just shown up for the dance after a 2,000-mile wingathon and the bugs aren’t here. They’ve peaked already or they’re still pouting below the surface. And here you were all ready to go forth and multiply, at which point you’re expected to bring home a billion bugs an hour, and the cupboard’s sparse. Your kids wither and die. You aren’t feeling so good yourself.

Meanwhile, in some places West Nile ticks aren’t even taking a season off anymore, and new viruses are hitting the scene and looking for a host to party down.

Somebody somewhere is getting unusual weather that suits them just fine, and they should go ahead and enjoy it. We’re on the way out anyway so we should enjoy anything we can.