In California I don’t remember having a May Day celebration quite as elaborate as the ones out east or even the ones in the 1950’s. I think in Los Angeles in the 1960’s and 1970’s we picked flowers and left them on the porches of our neighbors, or wove together hand picked dandelions or daises. With the clouds and rain hovering in the sky this May Day morning, there doesn’t yet appear to be a festive tinge in the air.
“Hill School, May Day,” Adolph B. Rice Studio, Library of Virginia Prints and Photographs, May 11, 1954
Our bird, Hummer, has been spoiled by a constantly filled feeder that Mama keeps for her on the clothes line in our yard. Last week I bought a second feeder, a bit larger, with white flowers. We hung it further down the wire near to the original feeder and found it wasn’t getting much use. “It’s the white flowers.” Mama explained. “She likes the red flowers on this one better.” “Really?” I thought. Knowing little to nothing about birds and not having spent as much time with Hummer as Mama, I had no opinion except to wonder about this.
As we were talking about her again this morning, she arrived, drank, sat on the wire and started to settle herself as she usually does and then surprise, let out a large squirt of pee onto the cement that Mama missed seeing while I exclaimed with pointed finger at the wet droplets.
“Mother hummingbird on edge of nest about to brood young,” by William Lovell Finley, OSU Special Collections and Archives, 1905
When I lived in Indiana winter hung on through Easter and often dumped a bit of snow to remind us that the change in seasons had not yet arrived.
“A fashion model in swimsuit poses on the beach,” 1958, The Department of Commerce Collection, State Library & Archives of Florida and the Florida Memory Project
The small carrot, broccoli, and beet seeds we’ve potted are sprouting in 2.5 inch plastic pots that incubate by the kitchen light overnight. Once green stems rise from the dirt, we take them outside to fend for themselves in these warm California days. If it gets cold overnight, sometimes we coddle and bring them back in, trying for the first time ever to grow our own food.
“Spirit of ’18. The World Cry FOOD. Keep the home gardening going,” ca. 1917 – ca. 1919, U.S. National Archives, College Park, MD