Ephemerals. That's the name we give our short-lived spring beauties -- trillium blood root, meadow rue.

But if you think about it, everything about spring in Minnesota is ephemeral. Who hasn't seen the cups of sunshiny daffodils filled with snow? Or watched a freak hail storm rip the smiling faces from a pot of pansies. And all it takes is a gust of wind to strip bare an apple tree that had been covered in a show of petals.

Just like our dwarf weeping crab.

I'd been watching it everyday. Watching the buds form and swell. Watching the first precious petals unfurl. It had just reached its peak -- a cascade of delicate pink and white blossoms -- last Sunday. It was so lovely to look at that I stopped what I was doing and went to sit under it, in my own private version of a blossom festival.

Suddenly, the sun disappeared. The wind picked up. The temperature dropped. I raced to grab three things: my phone, a lopper and a ladder.

I snapped as many photos as I could of the tree before the branches started to wave wildly. Then, I set up the ladder, climbed to the top rung and leaned over to take off a large branch.That's when my husband came out to tell me about the storm warnings. When he saw me, he dryly suggested this was perhaps not the best time to prune.

But I wasn't pruning. I was preserving.

I cut the branch and ran inside with it before the storm hit.

Sometimes I wonder why we try to grow things here. There are just so many things that can go wrong, starting with the weather. Other times, my garden makes me realize how very ephemeral all things really are. And that beauty -- even short-lived beauty -- is worth the work, worth the wait.