Exactly one year ago today, I felt overwhelmed by the onslaught of green that is Spring in New Hampshire. Last year I went to Ohio to visit family during the first part of May, so when I returned to Keene and found her lush with flowers and greenery, I was completely disoriented. How and when exactly had the gray withered hag that is winter turned over a new leaf into Spring?

This year I’ve been in New Hampshire for the duration, so I’m seeing how the Green Stampede of late spring vegetation starts as a slow steady creep, starting with one or two lonely tendrils and leaves.

Fecundity is a slippery slope. Once one leaf greens, it’s impossible to stem the verdant avalanche as chlorophyll floods and fills any available space.

I’ve blogged before my fondness for autumn ivy, so it’s not surprising I’d thrill to see the subtle strength of spring tendrils. With a “trunk” no thicker than a man’s thumb, these grape vines can climb as tall as any neighboring tree…with a little help from a cooperative brick wall, of course.

Whereas trees can be topped, these vines will keep clinging as long as this wall stands, and even after: a breach in these bricks, after all, would only provide additional toeholds for graspy greenery.

Although we often despise social climbers in our human ranks, you have to admire the tendriled tenacity of vines that race to reach their highest potential, doing anything in their power to grow toward the light.