Not to confuse the issue or anything, but these aren't lilac blossoms --- obviously. They're mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius), photographed in Yocom Park about two weeks ago.
But I got to wondering why I hadn't seen lilacs this year when I saw these --- forsythia generally blooms first on the west terraces of the park, then lilacs, then mock orange. This year, forsythia flourished and mock orange blossomed --- but no lilacs filled the middle ground.
The big lilac bushes that separate St. Andrew's side yard from the hospital driveway didn't bloom either, nor did the bushes on the museum campus.
I do remember walking by a lilac bush at the museum and noticing shriveled buds and leaves --- as if a hard freeze had struck. So now I'm wondering if that's the reason, or if it's something more sinister. We already have the emerald ash borer --- what next?
Whatever the case, here's a sprig of East Park lilac from early May, 2015, and here's to the hope the lilacs return during May of 2017.