May is the most spectacular month in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a riot of colors everywhere, as the flowers of all kinds are peaking after a prolonged spring that actually started way back in January with the Daffodils and Tulips. It’s been the best spring in memory for flowers. Even the cars can’t resist the overwhelming urge to blossom, and this little Metro (genus: Geo) is providing some welcome color among the deep green of the horsechestnut trees and grass.
This is on Jefferson, a very busy arterial feeder into the freeway, so there aren’t a lot of flowers in the gardens of the rentals. But there’s a ubiquitous Rhododendron, which are in top gear right now. But this little Metro is doing its job, in more ways than one. These Suzuki Cultii/Swifts wearing new badges were tough little miniature goats, and there’s quite few still providing rock-bottom cheap transport for their owners.
Under its colorful hood, the little 993 cc triple is always ready, willing and able, as long as the job is appropriate to its characteristics. Great as an urban scooter, with a surprising amount of torque, but long distance highway trips are not its thing, baby.
The metro, and its predecessor, the Chevy Sprint, had their heyday during the eighties, when high gas prices and the lingering memories of them made them as popular as geraniums. But by the nineties, the bloom was off on ultra-econo-boxes, and the Metro wilted and faded in the bright summer of SUVs. A colorful relic of a different time.
Well, since we’re talking flowers, I will indulge in a bit of digression and show you a couple of rhododendron blossoms from a recent walk to Hendricks’s Park, with one of the finer collections of that classic PNW flowering shrub. But the best way to enjoy them is in the wild, on a hike in the deep woods, when their colorful blossoms literally light up in the forest under-story.
These lush and sensual giant blossoms have an amazing ability to virtually glow even in the deepest shade or fog. One year we had a very late little snow fall, and we walked to Hendricks’s Park and reveled in these blossoms with fresh snow sprinkled on them. Sublime.
OK, back to cars; maybe there’s others joining in on the blooming too. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.