As much as I enjoy winter, spring is probably the most exciting time of the year for me. I think it is because you can actually see something happening day-by-day. One day you look outside and there is just a hint of bright green in the landscape here and there where the new grass is starting to grow under the gray, dead grass. Last week I was leaving my house early in the morning and noticed one of the bushes along the county road had tiny flowers starting to emerge. Three days later, when I got out to open my gate, the perfume of some sort of bloom was thick in the air. Yesterday, I noticed that the elbowbush thickets are decorated with tiny neon-green leaves.
We added a new living room onto our house early last summer and my husband specifically requested lots of windows and windows with as few interruptions to the glass as possible. He said windows with the divided glass make him feel as if he is in jail or a birdcage. We started teasing him about the "vast, uninterrupted expanses of glass. " I was actually pretty happy about the idea, because it gave me the go-ahead to have casement windows, you know, the windows that are hinged on one side and swing open? I have no explanation for why I have always wanted casement windows other than maybe I think it seems kind of French to me, and I am a life-long Francophile.
The reason I am telling you this is to get to the unexpected benefit of these windows—they often look like framed paintings hanging on the wall. From my favorite place to sit on the couch, one of the windows frames a view of a post oak branch with the sky behind it. All winter it has reminded me of Japanese art, with the changing colors of the sky in the background and the starkness and clarity of the bare branch in the foreground. Occasionally there is a bird in the painting, usually a titmouse, a chickadee, or phoebe. These birds are shades of gray and black, so they add to the contrast between the bare branch and the sky behind. Occasionally, there is a cardinal or a bluebird to add a splash of color.
I have noticed now that the tips of each twig on the branch are beginning to swell. One evening the dark will fall on my gray, bare branch then the next morning there will be tiny greenish-yellow specks of color as the leaves and blooms begin to emerge. A week after that, there will be full-blown clusters of bright green leaves on my branch. By the time the really brightly-colored birds arrive late in the spring, the tanagers and painted buntings, for example, there will be enough leaves to keep them hidden in the tree.
Unfortunately, it looks like we will not be having our showing of bluebonnet blooms suddenly standing upright and showing themselves. The fall and winter have been so dry. I have been examining all the usual bluebonnet patches on our ranch and have not seen a single plant growing so far. Still, look closely around you and you will see more subtle, yet sudden signs of spring. Meanwhile, send some prayers up for some rain! SpringCreekArtsGuild@gmail.com