Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is finally here!

With such beautiful, record-breaking warm weather all over the country, I can't help but be a little nervous about what July and August will look and feel like.

To tell the truth, I'm a little worried about what it might look like later today. In north-central Arkansas, we have been hearing more than murmurings about a forecast of up to 10 inches of rain. So far, I have yet to see a drop. The radar shows big green, yellow, and red globs that seems to be just to the west of us. Since weather moves from west to east as a rule, we could get hammered later today and tonight. I love rain; I'm just hoping severe weather doesn't accompany it.

One tiny pink hyacinth among the whites
Since this picture was taken several more have appeared
Once the weather starts getting hot, and the new landscape transitions into its summer, I already look forward to the coming spring. If only spring could be eternal.

There is such a feeling of joy to watch new little buds appear on the trees and shrubs. The distant landscape begins to take on a faint green tint. Every day the hues become more intense until one day, the distant trees are painted varying shades of green.

A dainty daffodil
The view up close shows branches and twigs covered by that almost intoxicating chartreuse,  yellow-green color. Whenever I look at new leaves, I am always reminded of the color in the crayon box labeled spring green. What a great descriptor!

Raking leaves reveals tiny sprouts of new life. Even a new dandelion is a beautiful sight.

Mowing the first time tidies the ground once covered with a thick mat of brown, dead leaves. What a transformation! We don't really have a lawn per se, but it is green nonetheless, covered with bermuda grass, clover, and other wild things that always benefit by a good trim.

The need to mow is most obvious when spikes of tall wild garlic rises high in random spots in the otherwise flat carpet of green. I love how mowing  releases their strong scent into the air.
Bluebird stands guard 

Then there are the spring bulbs. Can anything be more exciting than to see that first daffodil or tulip sprout, grow, and bloom? We planted several bulbs last December during our oh-so-mild winter. We are now reaping the rewards of  our labor with a beautiful show of flowers. So far, daffodils and hyacinths, wood hyacinths, and crocus have or are blooming. We are anxiously awaiting the tulips with buds still swollen, but not yet revealing their color. 

Dad takes a peek at mama sitting on a nest
I have a special fondness for the flowering trees and bushes. We have planted several that have performed well this spring--cherry, pear, crab apple  and magnolia trees. Once they get bigger, they will fill the yard with color. The resident redbuds that line the backyard are always a favorite. We had our first flowers on the new forsythia. Soon there will be bursts of color from the sweet-scented mock orange, delicate pink azaleas, hardy crepe myrtle and bunches of purple iris. I hope my lone white iris has seen fit to multiply since last year.

I'm not the only one that takes notice of spring. It is a busy time for my friends, the blue birds. This year, John put snake away at the base of the tree, so we might protect the nests from those black marauders that provided me a quick and ugly education in predatory behavior. I never want to catch the view of a long black snake tail hanging out of a bluebird box again.

Every day is a joy to look out a window, just to check what is new in the spring landscape. It is always something and usually always wonderful. I look forward to enjoying not just every day of this spring, but every moment of it.

This is the best day of the year--better than my birthday; better than Christmas--this is the first day of Spring.