Bradford pears and flowering plums are in bloom along with jonquils along the fence.
Clouds have rolled into the Shenandoah Valley as I sit alone on the front porch in the cool evening air, laptop perched on my lap with my feet propped up on the railing. There is just ever so slight a breeze. Old Man Winter hung on longer this year than usual but we knew Mother Nature would eventually win out and, sure enough, spring arrived this past week.
There's a loud hum of bees still buzzing around the flowering cherry tree that is in full bloom, and birds are chirping in stereo as they perch in surrounding trees. All around on the porch floor and sidewalk and grass, scattered like snowflakes, are pale pink petals, from the flowering trees, that blew off in the stiff breezes the past several days. The clean, outdoorsy smell of moist dirt is in the air along with faint whiffs of blooming jonquils.
Two red buds in front of the porch are budding out and should be in full bloom this week with their purple flowering blossoms. Spring is here but we are still a month from our safe frost date of May 15th which makes me nervous for other plants that could be -- and have in the past -- stunted or burned by a late frost or hard freeze. It is not unheard of; in fact, it's far more common than I like to think. My wisteria, the beautiful, purple, grape-like flowers that hang from vines across the front of the house, is full of buds but has not begun to bloom nor have the apple and peach trees. All those have been damaged from late cold the past several years.
Down the side of the yard and all the way to the woods behind the house is a row of bright yellow forsythia bushes that is a riot of sunshiny color, mixing with the light and dark pinks of nearby trees that have now also begun to leaf out.
It's a beautiful time of the year.
I tried to see the northern lights last night that forecasters had predicted may be visible from this part of the country but gave up after my last trek out onto the deck around midnight. The wind had a chilly edge to it and my eyeballs would not stay open any longer. Though we didn't see any northern lights, we lingered to watch the stars that were brilliant in the dark night sky along with the sliver of moon that hung in the western sky.
Have I said lately how much I love where I live? This Chesterfield County girl grew up loving the Blue Ridge Mountains ... to live in this part of Virginia is still a dream come true.
It's been a great weekend ... a busy weekend ... so it's nice in this hour before darkness falls to sit in the quiet, and rock, and listen to nature around me and be grateful for the opportunity to live in the sweet Virginia breeze in my little corner of Augusta County.
It's a new week ... make it a great one! It's spring in the Shenandoah Valley....
Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
April 11, 2013