I think, finally, I can say that it is officially Spring around here. Finally. It is a little cold and rainy again this morning but I am going to stick with the idea that it is indeed, Spring.
I know, I know, if you are back east, in the midwest or up north, you don’t want to hear a southwestern girl complaining about the cold – especially today with yet another winter storm blowing in. I used to live with snowy long winters too but I have been in Arizona for a long time now and my blood has become very thin. VERY thin. I could never go back, I wouldn’t survive a real winter.
Even here, we have had an unusually cold winter with several nights of record below freezing temperatures – not fun for desert plants or desert gardeners. There were a few mornings of taking kids to school in 20 degree temps that I was sure I wasn’t going to make it. Heated seats are the only thing that saved me.
But it has been warming up and for about a month now, I have been crazy to get outside and get my hands in the dirt and on the pruners. We live on just over two acres of Sonoran Desert and I have fallen in love with cultivating this harsh but beautiful land. One day soon, I will tell you the story of how we ended up here but for now I will just share that we have put almost 3 years of blood, sweat and tears (literally – everything here has a thorn or a spike) into our spread. I know it is only two acres but there are days when it feels like 200.
Finally, with the warm weather and long weekend, we were able to spend four straight days working outside; which is also why it has been a few days since I posted. It was warm and sunny and wonderful. We planted a couple of new citrus trees and did a lot of pruning, clean-up and fertilizing and started working on our outdoor kitchen. We still have a lot to do but I am happy to report that everything seems to be showing signs of life – everything except my beloved Hibiscus but I haven’t given up or lost hope yet.
Yes, it is spring and I have proof …
The tall spiky branches of the Ocotillo are covered in green.
The landscape plants are starting to bloom.
The Lantana, which was hit hard, is starting to show signs of life and recovery.
and mandarin oranges,
and Meyer lemons, navel oranges, limes, grapefruit and fresh herbs (the full vegetable garden is in the works for next year).
We have also had our first visitor …
found happily sunning himself stretched out on the back patio. I have come to an understanding with his kind. As long as they don’t have a rattle or venom of any sort, stay outside – let me repeat that STAY OUTSIDE, don’t startle me, don’t end up in the pool either dead or requiring rescue, don’t hiss at or threaten me or camouflage themselves in such a way as to startle me when I don’t see them, we are able to live in harmony or at least in tolerance. The rest of my family thinks these gopher snakes (who are around 5′ long when fully grown) are cool, awesome and “soooo cute” as Nathan says. As for me, I am just happy they don’t have fangs and a rattle.
So, now that Spring is officially upon us, I will be outside, A LOT, happily playing in the dirt. I may be absent from the blogosphere a day or two, here or there, but I promise I will be back with more stories of the land, the house, the family, the food and the savior that I love.
Come back for a visit tomorrow – I have a confession to make.
So about 9 hours after posting this, I am feeling the need for a “Post-Publication Edit” …
Ariel view, taken today, of the ball fields where “spring” training starts next week.
In this part of Arizona, we do not get snow. Not ever. Okay, once in a million years and today.
I may be an optomist but it is a good thing I’m not a weatherman.