The spring weather has lifted everyone’s spirits this week. Total strangers greet each other proclaiming “what a beautiful day.” We can all use some uplifting before the onslaught of summer.

On a trip up North Road this week I saw more than a dozen white dogwoods (Cornus florida). They were clearly wild. The flowering dogwood is native to eastern North America, I have a tall one in the wooded area on the property’s edge and every year I admire its white blossoms before other trees completely leaf out and hide it from view.

At the end of North Road across State Road at the old Humphrey property are the fading blooms of apple trees behind some impressive red buds. It is one of my favorites. Also know as forest pansy, it has tiny, subtle red flowers on gray bark. It is also a native tree.

Another about-to-bloom plant is the Shasta viburnum (aka doublefile). The flowers are pure white and right on top of the branches. At first glance they resemble the flowers of lace cap hydrangeas. So far I have not noticed them being loved by deer. Knock wood.

I also noticed horse chestnuts on the verge of blooming. They are quite large, lovely and often underrated. I suppose they fall out of favor on a manicured lawn as they drop an impressive amount of hard shelled nuts. The nuts can be ankle twisters to an unobservant fast walker, but do produce baby trees frequently.

We had a big one in our backyard in Rew, Pennsylvania. It had a low horizontal branch which often had a bear draped over it. Passersby stopped for photos. We wisely observed from a window.

In a perennial garden, wood hyacinths have spread and have been blooming for weeks. Now Camassia is taking over. Sometimes referred to as Indian hyacinth (also a native North American plant) it is actually a cousin to asparagus. I believe bulbs can be purchased in the fall. I have no idea how I acquired mine. I have both purple and creamy white ones. They are taller than most spring bulbs.

My Shirley poppies have also begun to bloom. They are orange and I think an annual which reseeds yearly. This year several have escaped the bed and are happily growing in the driveway. Why, I wonder, do I bother planting and enriching soil? Some plants have a mind of their own and place themselves on a whim in unwanted places. My least favorite shrub is the Russian olive. While somewhat pretty in bloom, it rapidly becomes unruly and very unattractive. If it is not, it should be on a list of noxious invasives.

Of late I have been thinking about morality versus the law. Hopefully, those of us with children bring them up so they know how to behave in polite society. The breaking of laws is different than ignorance of social norms. A person can be mean and rude without being criminal.

I think this is why the Trump hush money trial is so difficult for people. His marriage vow is not a matter of law. He clearly did not mean his vows just like the oath of the constitution meant nothing.

The real disappointment for me was Mike Johnson. I disagree with him in so many ways but was warming up to him ever so slightly over his support for aid to Ukraine. His stunt with fellow Maga congress members (in my humble opinion) to support Trump in his court case was a complete reversal of his so-called Christan morals and his other to abide by the rule of law and faith in our criminal justice system. It’s downright dangerous for law makers to trash talk our justice system.