Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First day of spring 2012 ... a riot of color

Spring 2012 is here and, truth be told, it's very much like the last day of winter ... sunny, warm, temperatures in the mid-70s ... an invitation to step outside and breathe in the fresh smells of newly-mowed grass along with numerous blooming trees, shrubs, and flowers. On top of that is just the smell of ... clean. It just smells plain old good out there.

Jonquils began blooming the end of February, a first for our yard, and now every spring bloomer is a riot of color in our corner of the world.

Every day the past week has been like the first day of spring including nightly lullabies from the back yard tree frogs while overhead the stars and planets have provided a light show for anyone willing to slow down long enough to kick back, wrap up in a blanket, and enjoy.

Our feathered friends have been especially noisy with their many trills, tweets, songs, twitters, caws, and other outbursts as they pursue the traditional spring rituals. In the garden, SWAC Husband has been plowing and preparing for planting potatoes, a variety of peppers and tomatoes, and other summertime goodies that add fresh flavor to our dinner table. A separate section of the garden has been set aside for sunflowers to be used for decorating while entertaining for special occasions.

Summer lawn furniture is replacing the utilitarian benches used on the deck during the winter, and the birds seem to be demanding the bird bath be soon set up. Since our safe freeze date isn't until May 15, that will have to wait a little longer.

Meanwhile, the mild winter has most lulled into thinking the warm weather is here permanently but others have their doubts. It would be a shame to see buds nipped by sub-freezing temperatures but it's more the norm than not in this part of Virginia. Will it remain warm? I suppose only Mother Nature knows what her plans are in that department. I wouldn't bet on no more cold snaps but, if it stays warm, I would make sure the air conditioning is in tip-top shape because we're probably going to have some extremely hot days this summer.

Get outside and enjoy ... it's spring in the Shenandoah Valley!

Photos by Bill & Lynn Mitchell
March 2012

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