Monday, February 18, 2013

wring is right

One day last week, we were having lunch at our bistro table in the front garden when Steve said something on the order of "Spring is here!" Wisely sensing that I was about to insist that it was really fring, however, he quickly backpedaled: "Maybe we should be calling it wring (with a W)."

Wring is right, indeed. When I defined fring back in 2010, there was some ambiguity, if not downright confusion, as to whether it was a composite of first + spring or fall + spring. Clearly, though, wring is a composite of winter + spring.

There was no question that fring (as initially defined) could last too long. It could start any time after the autumnal equinox, but would always last through the vernal equinox. Thus fring could theoretically take up half the year -- not this year of course, since it didn't start until the second week in December.

Fring and fall may occur concurrently (though the fall rains so rarely start before October). Likewise wring and winter may be concurrent, but are likely to be punctuated with an occasional wintry day or week. Five days of lows in the 30s (January 12-16, 2013) were wintry enough to kill most of the leaves on Jacob's newly transplanted papaya tree.

After lunch, Steve took off on some errands and I spent an hour contentedly pulling wring weeds in the parking strip: common chickweed, dandelions, petty spurge, two kinds of oxalis, wild carrot, elm tree seedlings, and perennial as well as annual grasses.  Dichondra, fring-blooming sweet allysum, and volunteer sweet peas had made greater inroads against the weeds than they had last year at this time, during whatever season that may have been.
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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License