I tend to treasure spring, especially since I got to Texas 13 years ago, because it's pretty much our only pleasant season. It gets pretty darned spectacular in late March and April, but my favorite time tends to be very early, when the first flowering trees come out, the anemones bloom and the redbuds bud. Today I had a nice visit with Jeff and his mom, Rose, and then went out to sit on the new patio and look at the bird feeder. As I sat there knitting on a mitten, I began to think about all the things that have brought me joy this spring. Here's a list--what does YOUR list look like?
|Bradford Pear Trees on Pocono Drive, scenic Brushy Creek, Texas|
Bradford Pear Trees: Now, you must understand that in general, I am not the biggest fan of the Bradford pear tree. It's not a native species, in Illinois they don't hold up well under heavy snow (their branch structure lends to splitting), and heck, they don't even make pears. I like fruit trees that have fruit. However, this year, thanks to the copious amount of rainfall this winter, trees that usually sport a pathetic few blossoms each year and then immediately set their leaves out have been a glorious clouds of ethereal whiteness.
The picture above shows a row of trees that has started to leaf out. We took pictures after the peak, but it's been totally amazing this year. I have seen Bradford pear trees in this neighborhood that I didn't even know where there. There is some variety that makes white clusters that is peaking right now. Wow, they are just lovely. I have heard another couple of folks agree that this year's blossoms way outshine any previous year's flowers that we can remember. Usually the only nice white flowers I get to see in the spring are the native plum trees, because we have no dogwoods (I miss them). So this year has been wonderful in the white tree department.
|Water Droplet in Cabbage|
Serendipity in Nature: I just love looking at our plants and the things I see in my walks. We saw this lovely bead of dew on our ornamental cabbage plant on our way somewhere. It reminded me of a pearl in an oyster, waiting to be discovered.
|Mr. Sparrow gazes at his true love.|
Looking at Birds: This time of year is always the best for bird watching. The migration path is right over where we live. As a matter of fact, geese were migrating overhead today. Lots of honking! I love our front patio because I can watch all the bird activity from the comfort of my chair. The European Sparrows you see here are sitting in the burr oak tree, which is blooming, and my kind spouse took the photo with his telephoto lens.
|A whole bunch of sparrows at the feeder! And the red bud, budding.|
While the sparrows were cute and quite hungry, and the mourning doves squabbling with each other were amusing, I was glad to see some interesting transients coming by, too. There were a whole bunch of chipping sparrows. They are so teeny. They blend so well with the grass, which is still brown from the cold weather, that they made it look like the ground was moving around. Later on some cute black-capped chickadees showed up to snack on the tree blossoms and check into the feeder, as well. As we were watching those birds, I heard a noise, and yay! I saw my first hummingbird of spring, sitting in the oak tree. Lee tried to get a picture, but you know how fast they are!
|Sparrow coming in for a landing.|
Lee did get this one picture of one of a sparrow in flight, which I enjoyed a lot. The sounds of their little wings going back and forth from my house to the hedge in the next yard is quite spectacular for such little beings.
Other spring fun things: The kids being home for spring break (and bringing all their friends around), pulling weeds, watching the roses grow, knitting outside, waiting for the oak pollen to descend and make everything yellow, and reading about other people's spring experiences. Keep sharing, readers. And enjoy the special aspects of spring where you live.