Finding Spring

I’ve always lived in northern climes, experiencing the distinct changes in light and weather over the four seasons. Here in southeast Idaho winters are long, and much of spring can feel just like winter.

This past winter was colder and drier than normal. We were walloped with snow in late December, with a couple more storms in January and February, and it pretty much stayed on the ground till March. Here’s a photo I took on March 5.

March roars in and intermittently melts and refurbishes the winter snowpack. It’s a strange experience to stop in traffic on a main thoroughfare in town and find yourself alongside a large snowcapped mountain peak of shoveled snow. How did all that snow turn so black? Surely the parking lots are not that filthy! How much of that soot and grime was deposited by the wind over the last three months?

Mount Filthydomarro

But we’re thawing out and hopeful for signs of spring. By March 12 a local canal thaws into a puddle big enough to accommodate two ducks! But you have to look carefully to see them.

By March 15 our Christmas lights come down.

But on March 16 it feels like Christmas again

And by March 20 we’re back to December.

Do you see the squirrel? He’s back there somewhere

Idaho Falls, March 20

By April 4 the tulips are up and crocuses are blooming!

Things haven’t changed much by April 12. Except we’ve hung a couple bird feeders.

Rudy keeps an eye on things. In between naps.

Can we make you more comfortable, Rudy?

Yeah, well, time to wake up from our long winter’s naps and search for more signs of spring!

What say you Squirrel? No, you’re not getting on the bird feeder.

Oh wow! It’s May 1st and we have a daffodil blooming out front. Yes, one daffodil. Can you see it?

Here’s a better view.

Awesome. A daffodil!

Yeah, find the other hundred daffodiIs I planted last fall. They’re poking up, but hey, what’s the rush? As I said, sometimes in southeast Idaho you have to look carefully for signs of spring.

Can you find the tulip sprouting up in our rock bed? Why of course, I planned it that way.

It’s May now and all the lawns in the neighborhood are greening up. The chickadees keep us busy refilling the bird feeder.

Two ducks have become regular workhorses in our backyard cleaning up the birdseed the chickadees keep flipping out of the bird feeder.

They could almost be disguised as yard art. Notice the proliferation of three daffodils now blooming in our back yard.

The ducks have others joining the team to clean up the mess from the chickadees. Enter, squirrel and mourning dove:

Eurasian doves are helping too. But they all have to be on constant high alert for predators, specifically, raptors circling above. A couple of weeks ago we were passively gazing out our kitchen window at a Eurasian dove in our back lawn, when a hawk swooped in and snatched it up in front of our eyes, leaving only a scattering cloud of feathers. Now you see the Eurasian dove, and ‘poof’, now you don’t. Yikes.

The hawks are circling overhead alright!

Thank God they don’t prey on humans. They could sure ruin a good outdoor picnic, never mind the weather.

Yeah well try having a picnic on a windy day in April or May. Hold onto your sandwich and let the chips blow where they may.

Just last week I was out in the yard in a 20mph wind when I spotted squirrel. Hold on there, buddy!

Morph yourself to a tree limb to keep your bearings!

Can you spot the chickadee in this next photo?

Hint: It’s nearly dead-center (no, not dead) in the arborvitae. Safe from hawk and wind! That’s a May tree by the way, above the arborvitae, so named because they usually bloom by the first of May. Yeah, well it’s May 9th, and it hasn’t bloomed yet. Haven’t seen even one May tree in bloom in town.

Well I guess I should put a wrap on this. Not too motivated today to take a walk and look for spring. Here, I just took a screenshot of our weather app today. High of 44 and cloudy with a wind advisory.

I stepped out and took a photo of our back yard this morning.

More than 3 daffodils blooming in our center garden there! (ya, I knew I planted them last fall). Hopeful signs. The tall lilacs along the fence are shooting out leaves and I swear that flowering crab in the center garden has flower buds. One warm spell and everything will pop!

Oh, and did I mention the robins? We have one tough dude hanging around who thinks he’s a hawk.

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2 Responses to “Finding Spring”

  1. david Says:

    And yet people keep moving here. Could you please send this to every household in CA, OR, and WA.

  2. Jody Caraher Says:

    Haha. What were they thinking???

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