Monday, February 01, 2010

First Signs of Spring

it might seem like jumping the gun, being in the throes of deep winter, but there are subtle signs of spring appearing here and there. The Huisache is making little flower buds that will turn the bushes a deep color of gold. That's always the first native plant to slower down here.

You can tell spring is right around the corner because the clover grows fast. I wish is was a pretty clover, but most of the older yards with native grass get burrs, and are treated as pests. Next, noxious weeds will sprout as if by magic, evil looking plants indeed.

Barring a hard freeze - one more cold front is forecast in maybe two weeks - the mimosa trees and Tepaquatche will start to flower by Spring Break, with the mesquites to follow several weeks later. The palm trees with sprout long shoots from their tops as well, meaning allergy season will be on its way. Hey, what's a few sneezes when spring is fixing to happen?

If you look real close, you can see small plants that I call "bluebonnets," although the wine cups and various colored oddities (whose name are a mystery to me) will not flower for quite some time.

Now is the time when Valley fruit and vegetables reach their maximum. Fortunately, the January freezes didn't hurt the crops very much.

Curiously, you can tell spring is right around the corner when the Winter Texans finally show up in full force. February is maybe our biggest month for the wandering snow birds. It is still cold as Hades up north, but spring starts this month down here at latitude 26.

And the Kite Fest is always a harbinger of spring as well. This year's show was quite chilly but the crowds were some of the largest ever, according to the sponsors.

And soon you'll see the Spring Break venues start gearing up for Texas Week, which is around the third week of March. February is too early but only time will tell if the trucks will show up at places like Chaos and Mooncussers, the revamped Tequila Frogs. Louie's also does some major construction on the deck some years.

And just like the land crabs, we'll emerge from our burrows. Speaking of crabs, the ghost crab on the beachside had a pretty good spawn this year, with lots of new crab holes in the beach.

And watch your birds. The seagulls and roseatte spoonbill will go into mating colors. The redwing blackbirds will begin to assemble for their migration, squawking like banshees.

It's a wee bit early for spring yet, but if you look closer there are some signs.

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