Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake
Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring? Just Maybe!

We Texans,  we like to think we are a big, macho state. And our weather is pretty much the same way, at least spring and summer.  Winter has a hard time squeezing in between fall and spring and fall is usually quiet, and relatively cool time of year. But about the third weekend in February,  our spring comes bounding in like a big-footed Labrador puppy, knocking down every visage of winter and kick-starting  all the grass and flowers to grow at once. It's as though flowers burst out of every footprint of the wild running puppy. Our winds start shifting to the south, and if we're real unlucky, stay there, blowing the migrating songbirds right over us.  Our wintering geese, ducks, and raptors rush off almost in mas, and within a few weeks are gone altogether. 
By March we are in shorts and most of us will wear them until November while the hardiest among us never wear long pants. Our wildflowers start blooming in late January and peak early in April. By late April or early May, we are complaining about the summer heat which lasts into October.


Texas Hill Country  Roadside View in mid-April

But up here in Oregon, spring is coming in on tiptoe, and keeps getting scared and rushing off to hide. I expected it arrive later, but had no idea it would be such a little wimp. I knew spring would never get here in February, but started looking in all the places I passed for just a little glimpse of spring. I looked in vain all of March and then in April, almost gave up hope of seeing Spring at all. On April 4, I woke up to see four inches of snow. 



But a few hours later, the sun came out and by noon, most of the snow was gone. And the Clark's and western grebes showed up.  They must think spring is here. But I still didn't take off my long Johns.



By April 9, I still couldn't find any flowers.  But a week later, I saw little marks of spring. The grass sent up green stalks. I saw some jonquils in town. And then  came the last four days of warm to hot weather. Several trees budded out and some produced their blooms.





 And this morning, I saw that we had fully blooming trees here at headquarters.


 

 But some trees are still cynics and aren't planning on putting out tender leaves anytime soon.




 Daffodils have popped into bloom. 



And for the last two days, I haven't had to wear a jacket.  I've been out of long Johns for over a week.  Yesterday, I drove with the window down and got sunburn on my left arm. Owls, golden eagles, and red-tailed hawks are sitting on eggs. Today the first western kingbird showed up. And a huge flock of brown-headed cowbirds were hogging several bird feeders.


So I think spring is tiptoeing  into the Oregon High Desert. Ah, Spring.