Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Spring in South Texas

We noticed this weekend that the ash trees are budding out and turning green.

The “love bugs” are starting to swarm. Some are already joined in their near-permanent coupling, but many others are still flying solo, seeking their “two shall become one” status.

Mosquito hawks are everywhere and the fire ants are becoming very active.

An article in our local paper noted the high number of dead skunks on the roads and described the phenomenon as the result of mating season. Ardent males in search of female companionship tend to ignore oncoming traffic in their single-minded pursuit. (Click HERE to read the story.)

I mowed the lawn on Saturday. The grass didn’t require trimming, but the thistles and clover brought in by airborne seeds were poking their tops up in ragged array and needed taming before they, too, sent forth their seeds in the breeze.

Farmers are either in their fields readying for planting, or wishing the mud would dry a little more so they could get out. The last threat of frost is usually past around the second week in March, so seed can be planted soon.

To my readers in somewhat higher latitudes, like you folks way up in Dallas, no I am not insane. Well, some might disagree with that. But I’m aware that this is only February 22, the day after Presidents’ Day, and many of you may still be planning your winter ski vacation.

Here in Victoria County it’s time for golf in short-sleeve shirts. Shoot, we’ve had robins hopping around our yard for a couple of weeks already. The birds, bugs and critters are going through their reproduction rituals. Spring hasn’t quite sprung, but it’s fixin’ to. We’re running our air conditioner — more to knock the humidity out of the air than to cool it — but still!

Don’t be jealous. Don’t begrudge us our early spring. It only lasts a few weeks, and then we’re slammed into the middle of full-blown summer. By April we’ll be seeking shade and air conditioned shelter from a skin-scorching sun (couldn’t resist all the esses).

We joke around here that we have nine months of summer, two months of winter, and two weeks each of spring and fall. Sometimes, though, we skip spring and fall completely. Maybe this year we’ll be blessed with an extra week or two.

1 comment:

Candace said...

Howdy from way up here in Dallas. My ex was a gardener and he used to say that this is how you tell it's spring in Texas: enjoy the "unseasonably warm" winter and wait. Don't plant yet. Enjoy the first few weeks of "calendar spring." Don't plant yet. Enjoy all the paperwhites, jonquils, and tulips coming up. Wait. Wait. Wait..... Okay, plant! Enjoy the new sprouts coming up! Watch them all die with the "unseasonably late" record frost. Replant. NOW it's spring!