Sunday, March 27, 2011

Early Signs of Spring

Words by Greg
Photos by Greg and Trina

Springtime has slipped upon us. Short days of winter are gone, equal days of sunlight and dark have passed, and now the sunshine lasts longer than the night. But, so far, barely.

It's a somewhat yo-yo season here, where warm dry days are followed by chilly moist nights. Where sunshine is followed by grey gloom. Where blossoms break forth in splendor and then frost comes back to nip at the early starters.

Only the most optimistic (or foolhardy) plants in town are rushing forward. Our usual "last frost" is in mid-May. Chances are slim that the bright white froth of blooming apricot trees will successfully run the gauntlet of coming weather and make it into fruiting season.

In the wilder world that surrounds town, most of the native plants know that patience is a virtue. Some, by virtue, instead, of warm south-facing slopes, or tiny micro-climates, have rushed the spring and are sending out blossoms, hoping, perhaps, to finish their business quickly before another frost spell.

Our own explorations of the early signs of spring are gathered here in photos. Please enjoy this further interruption of our Arizona photos, which I hope we will still eventually finish.

Local rides have ranged from dry, to moist and tacky, to turn-back-now-it's-muddy. Spoiled by the warm days, we've found it tough to get out on the grey days.

Plants like this seem to stay dormant and red, even during cool periods.

Some of the flowers we've seen are dried blossoms from last season.

This pea-sized flower was the first wild blossom we saw locally this year. Though I don't think the "blossom" of a paintbrush is technically a true flower.

One of the first flowers along the trail.

Rivers are rising.

insects are waking up and getting to work.

We're not at all sure what these become when they grow up.

Our friend Mary being chased by a ball of lint.

Trina being chased by bundles of energy.

This bright spot arrived in the garden.

Cheerful and underappreciated flowers. Trina did not approve of this photo.

From the garden, an over-anxious apricot.

Our first fresh garden produce for the season has been green onions from our self-restarting onion patch. They aren't harmed by a little frost.

Broccoli raab babies, still being babied indoors.

These tiny blossoms are widespread and prevalent this year, both around town and in the "wild". Not sure what they are, so we'll smile and call them wildflowers. (And not "weeds".)


  1. "My one regret in life is that I'll never have a dog." Marcell The Shell....

  2. Its about time...dirt and dogs...and a ball of lint...

  3. We loooove that little ball of lint! And there was most certainly some dog HAIR in the gateau basque. Possibly some dirt as well, but definitely at least one dog hair.