Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's Spring!

You can tell it's spring because the Rufous Hummingbirds are back. This hummingbird photo was taken on March 31 through the rain-splattered kitchen window. The poinsettias are blooming inside and seemed more appropriate for our cold wet weather that day than the cheerful daffodils outside. Looking south, there was still snow on the hills.

On April 1, there was even more snow on those hills after a very cold, wet night. Johnny was at Traumhof that weekend with Kevin and Ian while Jessica was at a horse show. I called and told Johnny we had snow on the ground. He believed me, since it had been snowing off and on for weeks. April Fool! He then told Kevin and Ian we had two feet of new snow, but that was a bit much for them to believe.

On April 5, the hills got a new dusting and we wondered if spring would ever arrive. But later that morning, the sun came out. Two goats took advantage of the stumps; maybe to get closer to the heat source?

Rain returned overnight. We had had a sopping 14 inches in March. April was starting out wet and cold. But yesterday, April 6, the sky cleared by mid-morning as I traveled to the Columbia River for yet another bird survey. I didn't find any of the target birds, Snowy Plovers, but I did find a lovely, sunny coast line and lots of photo ops on the way home. (For more on the survey, see my bird blog entry: Invisible Shorebirds.)

However, the west side of the Coast Range mountains still had snow, too. And clouds opened up on me after I left the coast and headed home to our farm on the east side of those mountains. Would spring never come to stay?

Well, I don't know if it's here to stay, but today, April 7, was a glorious spring day: sunny and dry. I weeded all my raised beds; Johnny dumped new compost in them for me; then I planted the cool weather crops: peas, lettuce, carrots, onions, spinach and potatoes. While I worked, a male hummingbird made his spectacular courtship dive over the daffodils.

The next week is predicted to be showery, but that's okay. The rain will water my newly planted seeds. Daffodils, undaunted by rain or snow, continue to bloom cheerfully outdoors while indoor flowers, like this geranium, bring me color and hope when skies are dripping gray. And the hummingbirds, rain or shine, are here to stay. It's spring!

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