Drear, drab season here can't really be called spring Signs of delay linger all over

JACQUES KELLY

April 07, 1993|By JACQUES KELLY

Whatever happened to a typical Baltimore spring, where the yellow forsythia starts bursting in January and has fully bloomed by the third week of March?

Is it too much to ask for the temperature to break the 70-degree mark? These cool, soggy days have got to go. Who needs one more heating bill with three figures after the dollar sign?

The signs point to a depressing April. Where's that color that makes Baltimore look like a Lexington Street Easter bonnet?

The goldfish in the pond by the formal garden on the grounds of the John Hopkins University's Homewood campus swim in very tired and sluggish circles. Their mood seems to fit the season's demeanor.

The normally lazy Patapsco River is looking so mean that a picture of it could be used for an advertisement for flood insurance. Whatever happened to that placid tributary that was so calm you doubted it could wet an ash?

The sights at Lake Roland usually never disappoint. But look elsewhere in this drab spring of 1993.

In an unusual show of governmental cooperation, the former Baltimore reservoir off Lake Avenue has been drained so that the old dam can be repaired. And this massive plumbing work isn't a pretty sight. In fact, the lake looks like an aging beauty queen without her wig, makeup and false teeth.

Try going to Lexington Market and ordering three hot cross buns. That might put you in a spring mood. But it's been so chilly, you'd better get a large cup of hot coffee, too.

It's true that most of the grass has awakened from its winter slumber and cast off that yucky yellow hue.

But where is that gentle green haze that settles over the trees along Falls Road north of Butler in Baltimore County? Is it my imagination, or are fewer students playing lacrosse this spring?

Don't bother inhaling the harbor's perfumes. All that March rain washed through the storm sewers. The city's shining downtown Riviera will need a few more weeks to air out.

It's been so raw these past few weeks that a brisk walk around the sea wall at Fort McHenry seems more harsh than two weeks' detention on Scotland's Outer Hebrides.

Why are people looking at displays of potted rose bushes the same way they scorn Christmas wreaths in October?

Will all the blue jeans hung out on a wash line in a Westminster back yard ever be dry? Whoever is in charge of that laundry had better consider an electric dryer.

And let's cuss the March 13 snowstorm that bent and snapped limbs off trees and bushes, tore down rain spouting and dislodged roofing slates.

And why this April 7 are the Lake Montebello joggers clothed in long fleece running pants?

Even the arrival of the circus didn't cheer things up. People seemed to complain more than ever about the price of soft drinks and cotton candy at the Baltimore Arena.

Why have the usually crowded playing fields in Herring Run Park at Harford Road and Chesterfield Avenue been empty?

And just wait until the sun arrives. We'll be mowing grass to make up for lost time.

And even though we've had many rain storms, somehow that gritty black deposit left over from the snows has yet to disappear from sidewalks and parking lots.

If you take the attitude that mean weather can't affect you and you put on your Bermuda shorts, beware. There's a bug that's leaving scratchy throats and drippy noses all over Baltimore. Don't close the medicine cabinet yet on the winter of 1992-1993.

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