Sunday, March 17, 2013

Grumpy Spring

Weather: Warm afternoons; last rain 3/09/13; 12:01 hours of daylight today.

What’s green: Pine, and other evergreens; yucca, grape hyacinth, garlic, Japanese honeysuckle, vinca, gypsum phacelia, alfilerillo leaves.

Juniper returning to normal color. Rose leaf buds ready to open. Garlic chives, German iris, bouncing Bess, Dutch clover, alfalfa, oriental poppy, dandelions, broom senecio, tansy, chrysanthemum coming up. Brome, cheat, June, and needle grasses greening.

What’s red: Cholla; apple, apricot, sandbar willow branches; Madonna lily leaves.

Small-leaved soapwort, coral beardtongue leaves beginning to green.

What’s grey or blue: Purple aster leaves back to normal color. Fernbush, caryopteris, winterfat has tiny leaves. Western stickseed, tansy mustard coming up.

What’s yellow: Globe and weeping willow branches.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums, petunia.

Animal sightings: Small brown birds

Weekly update: Grumpy. Cranky. Churlish. I feel like someone who works the night shift and who has just managed to fall asleep when the neighbor’s kids knock on the door to sell raffle tickets for the school band trip.

And all because there was so little snow this winter. It’s gone from the afternoons being too cold and too windy to venture out, to temperatures in the sixties. I should be delighted, but I’m still waiting for the rain, still expecting that final snow and freeze. Afternoon humidity levels in Los Alamos and Santa Fé have been down to 7% with wind gusts to 25 miles an hour. I feel like I need more sleep.

The cold weather plants are trying to catch up. It’s their season, but not quite their climate. The pinks have grown lusher.

The beardstongues, purple asters, and small soapworts are beginning to green.

The alfilerillo has come back, as have the oriental poppies

and the hollyhocks.

For some reason, the plants with gray leaves are also active. The fernbush has leafed

as has the caryopteris.

Some grasses are greening in the hay fields, which makes the farmers want the ditches to run. Even the alfalfa is coming up.

Men have been burning their fields to destroy last year’s weeds. Others have been burning their ditch banks, no doubt nudged by the mayordomo who is doing what he can to bring the water down from the Santa Cruz lake. Everyone wants those grasses to grow ahead of the competitors. The tansy mustard’s coming up. The dandelions are already here.


1. Red delicious apple, 16 March 2013.

2. Garlic chive colony under black locust, 16 March 2013.

3. Bath pinks, 16 March 2013.

4. Small-leaved soapworts, 16 March 2013.

5. Oriental poppy leaves and last year’s pink evening primrose stems, 16 March 2013.

6. New hollyhock leaves on established plants, 16 March 2013.

7. Fernbush, 16 March 2013.

8. Longwood Blue caryopteris, 16 March 2013.

9. Alfalfa peeking through apple leaves, 16 March 2013.

10. Dandelion racing a bouncing Bess, 16 March 2013.

11. Western stickseed (left) and tansy mustard seedlings, 16 March 2013.

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