March 30, 2011

Spring's Progress

Early Tuesday morning we had a thunderstorm roll through. Although it didn't rain much, it did rain, and rain is good. Since July 2010, we've only had 3 days of 1-inch-or-more rain. We are in a drought and our normal springtime rains are not on the horizon.

Our farm pond is extremely low. The only time I've seen it lower was the summer of the big drought in 2007 when we had a similar weather pattern. The horses are enjoying the low water level though. Ella and Splash love to roll in the mud on hot days.

On warm days the turtles sun themselves on the west bank of the pond. I've counted as many as 20 all piled up on the bank. I can't get close enough for a photo though. They sense me coming and slide into the water before I get close. If I look carefully, I can see several floating just below the surface, with those little heads barely peeking out of the water.

Spring temperatures of course go up and down. One day might be in the 80's, the next in the 40's. Oklahoma is the only place I've lived where we could use the furnace overnight and the a/c in the afternoon. Of course we try not to do that. We put a window fan in the kitchen window and turn on the ceiling fans instead of the air conditioner.

Last week was a warm week, and we ran the window fan overnight to pull in the cool night air so the house would be cooler during the day. That worked well. This week it's cold with overnight temperatures around freezing, and we need a jacket in the afternoon. Brrr. I'm eagerly waiting for the nights to be warm enough for the whippoorwill to call.

I'm seeing spring birds: a bluebird, and a few meadowlarks. I've heard the "mercurochrome birds" - I have no idea what kind they are, but their call sounds to me like "mercurochrome, mercurochrome." (Are you old enough to know what mercurochrome is?) The "kitty kitty" birds should be here soon.

The driveway is carpeted with yellow dandelion flowers, now turning to white puffballs. Our children loved to pick the tall stems and blow the fluffy seeds to the wind; they called them "blowflowers".

The wild herbs are up and growing. The chickweed is blooming now. Yellow dock is growing, the plantain (above) is recognizable in the lawn. Arrow-leaf clover is flourishing in a few spots, and an unknown legume (below) as well. The goats love them both.

The red buds are still blooming.

My daffodils still have not bloomed, but some years they don't. They are poeticus daffodils, the last variety to bloom in spring. I'd love to have some of the early wild daffodils that are just past their prime now in the yards of old homesites.

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