Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Spring Ranch Update

Photos courtesy of Cousin Jill from last spring. I'm still waiting on my camera to come back from Canon for new images.

Spring has sprung everywhere at the ranch except (ironically) in the spring; we're well into month 7 with no water in the creek, and however lucky that is for people who like to dump their vehicles into it, we'd really like some relief.

Nonetheless the plants and animals are definitely in a springtime frenzy. I mentioned earlier that trees and grass have started blooming again. The crepe myrtles in particular are beautiful and the wild plum trees are also bursting with color. The oaks have dropped their leaves, which seems weird to me, but everything else is alive with greens, pinks, and whites.

The last week has also seen the return of our hummingbird swarm. Where these little guys spend the rest of the year I don't know, nor how they managed to survive without our containers of sugary water, but they're sure out in force now. We've counted up to 11 at once swarming around. This morning one had gotten stuck in the garage. Apparently having a brain the size of a very small raisin isn't conducive to figuring out how to escape a window. I had to scoop him up in a pitcher and carry him outside, learning in the process that hummingbirds can fly really, really high. I thought they were ground-huggers, kind of like bees with beaks, but they can definitely get up there.

We've got the two standard donkey females (jennets in the lingo) locked in the barn area, Annie thinks they're close to giving birth. Since they don't crave ice cream and pickels or complain about bloated feet, we have to use less sure signs like swollen teats and such.

The temperatures are going up but for now they're tolerable, in the upper 80's and there's usually a decent breeze going. We get very few weeks of nice weather before summer roars in with temperatures in the high 90's and low 100's for months on end. We've been walking the dogs most every day and trying to enjoy it while we can.

The wildflowers are coming back, though not in great numbers, and the air is alive with possibilities. I can see why cultures have celebrated spring with rites and festivals for thousands of years; you really feel like anything can happen and the best is yet to come.

Of course, this is also the time of year the IRS wants their tax money, which blows the metaphor all to hell. And they say there's no such thing as irony!


Jill Phenix Avila said...

ah happy happy joy joy.... then BAM!!! the tax man cometh

Denise said...

I think if Diane and Donna hear me say the words "wild flowers" they're going to run screaming from the room! HOWEVER, the wild flowers are blooming, and they look great. I especially love the bluebonnets -- they grow in craggy, rough soil, and they grow wherever they want to grow. That patch of blue is just a show stopper. Our Carolina Jasmine is blooming, and those little white flowers smell great in the evening and in the morning when I walk out the back door to go to work or school. I love the spring time because it seems the air is crisper somehow, and the greens and blues are more vibrant. That contrast between the blue, blue sky and the green, green grass is most striking now, especially when there's a lake or pond nearby that sparkles like a diamond in the morning. I wish I was in Louisiana to see the azaleas and crepe myrtles blooming there. That's a real show stopper. And, of course, we can't mention a Louisiana spring without mentioning crawfish! I have a hankering for some crawfish etouffee on the porch at Pat's in Henderson. Cher, dat's some good eatin! I am consoling myself with the CD Peggy made for us at Christmas -- right now, I'm listening to "Zydeco Hew Haw" that's just great! Spring is great no matter in the south because it prepares us for the hell known as summer!

Jill Phenix Avila said...

Denise, I am glad you are having a green spring.. we are having a brown spring with awesome blue skies and no rain.. I am however winning the greenest lawn on the block contest that my neighbors have no idea they are involved in.

Denise said...

Those are the best kinds of contests, aren't they! Whenever the kids don't get around to mowing the lawn, we just claim we're starting a wildflower sanctuary and going back to ecological methods to save the planet, such as not cutting grass too short. One year, we had 6 different kinds of wildflowers in the front yard. Here in Houston, it doesn't matter the weather. Everybody and their brother has either a sprinkling system, a water hose or, the Texas method of watering your lawn -- the guys "mark" it, just as Jeff mentioned in another blog posting!