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Love Those First Days of Spring in the High Desert

I saw her just the other day.

A bluebird migrated through here, navigating between storms, and I just knew Spring was arriving soon.

Sure enough, a day later, as the last of the clouds blew out of the valley, the vultures began their return trip from Mexico.

Do you look forward to the changes? Or do you dread having to fight off the new weeds popping up everywhere?

 

I love the little hints of Spring. I take time to watch how quickly the green seedlings take a foothold.; how the buds on early fruit trees begin to swell; and, how hard it is to find tissue boxes on the market shelves. Well, that part must have to do with allergies and the rise in pollen.

 

Source: birds.cornell.edu via PJ on Pinterest

 

Needless to say, even though this season as lingered in a frigid theme of freeze and thaw, the desert is greening up. And with the small flowers, low to the ground — belly flowers — you’ll notice the emergence of the insects that gather. The ants have been digging out for a week now. The first robber fly crouched on the rake handle scanning for a juice fly. And, my favorite eight-legged creatures — the turret spider —  opened its rock-lined trap door and sticky funnel to sit, basking in the sun, waiting for his first victim.

Do you sit outside with a cup of coffee and watch the show? Do you call your children or grand kids to let them know that if they look down they’ll see a magic kingdom at work?

Please share with us what you enjoy about the first days of Spring.

Rusty LaGrange

If you like what you see here, then check out my other blogs at : www.aflairforwords.com
 
www.aflairforbooks.blogspot.com http://www.myrustybucketranch.blogspot.com/

 

GIFTS IN THE SKY

I leave every morning around 4:00 a.m. for work.  It’s a long ride to Torrance from the High Desert, but these mornings I have received special gifts. Monsoon weather brings joy to the commuter.  On Tuesday I received a spectacular gift.  Let me see if I can paint a picture for you.

I began my travel up through Phelan in an effort to reach the 138 highway.  Now it’s much closer to travel the 395 highway to the fifteen but being human I get bored with the same-O, same-O and I like to shake it up.  So I set out to travel the 138.  You’re probably thinking, so, so what the 138 is a well traveled road.  It is well traveled but this particular morning I seemed to be alone with the sky.

I looked in my rear view mirror and I got a gift.  The sun was just coming up over the horizon, fiery orange that morning, but leading into a still darkened sky of the western front.  Black clouds moving up to open the way for the sun that would later prove to sear the land.  My window was slightly open as to feel the real air of the morning, not the artificial air of my auto. A certain freedom brushed against my cheeks.

The monsoon weather produces unusual cloud formations and I could feel the darkness letting go, surrendering to the orange glow that creeped from the eastern morning.  I could feel the air, and the sky and the gifts that I was receiving at 4:00 a.m.

I went to work with a smile on my face and people asked me all day why I was so happy.  I merely responded it was because of my gift.  They looked at me as if I should have been a patient instead of a worker.  Oh well some gifts are special and need no words of explanation.  I hope that you too will think about a gift you’ve received, a gift that can not be purchased.

The High Desert provides many, they are all around us, and can’t be purchased with MasterCard.

Spring Rain Flowers in the High Desert

Raindrops from spring showers bring out the beauty in desert flowers.

The recent High Desert rain reminded me to check my flowers and plant for raindrops. It’s a simple pleasure that I find in gardening – looking for raindrops on the flowers after a rain shower.

First I noticed the California Poppy Plant had grown huge in a very short time. Incidentally, these plants grow fast and are easy to plant. All I did to make this plant grow was to place every little stem with leaves back into the dirt, gave it a little time and rain, and here it is:

California Poppy Plant

Then I saw the lovely poppies and wondered if I might by chance see any raindrops. YES! There was one with a raindrop that was big enough to see on the camera.

California Poppies with Raindrops

Right next to the little poppies are the irises. These are the royal looking maroon and gold ones, and LOTS of raindrops covered this one beauty.

The High Desert is known for its extreme hot and cold seasons, but the irises and California poppies grow well in this climate. Other flowers that commonly grow well here include roses, pansies (in cooler weather), lavender, and salvia.

Which flowers have you been successful with in your High Desert garden? Take a moment to comment. I’d love to hear about your garden flowers.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Weird Weather: It’s January! Where’s the Snow?

Most of us who have lived in the High Desert awhile are used
to strange things happening with weather. We see our share of fog across a dry
lake, snow in May, heavy rains, and that effect on car windows when rain and
sandstorms co-mingle and begin “mudding” on everything.

I can deal with that.

But what makes this harder is my sweaters are waiting to be
taken out of the closet. They find that it is NOT fair to be ignored when it’s
supposed to be winter. Sure, we had a few weeks of below freezing temps in
December…

We do expect chilly weather, some frost, and snow. Winter has
a nip in the air, trees drop piles of leaves along the roadsides, and migrating
birds make ribbons across the sky.

So how come we’re facing a warming trend in the 70s? It’s
just not normal.

When the weather breaks into balmy  and mild days like this, growers and
gardeners call it “false Spring.” It’s happened before. It causes plants and
animals to react as if it’s Spring.

  • Fruit trees can bud too early and lose their leaves
    at the first sign of a freeze
  • Grasses may appear too early leaving animals
    without forage later
  • Bulb flowers, like iris and tulips, need a cold
    winter to set their blossoms for spring
  • Rain and snow fill our lakes and streams in the
    mountains for later run off

I want to see winter return with a frosty cold front, some
blustery days, and snow on the mountains. I don’t want to hear my sweaters
whining from the cedar chest, whispering, and making plans about escaping.

I want to see children with rosy, frost-nipped cheeks, and clouds
of steam smudging my glasses when I try to go outside.

I want winter back.

 

Rusty LaGrange

 photo credit: Colleen Harper at Pinterest.com

 

 

 

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The First Day of Thanksgiving Week in the High Desert

What is Thanksgiving week like in the High Desert? It’s a day of rest for me on this Sunday, the first day of Thanksgiving week. The weather right now where I am is 45 degrees, and the forecast says tonight will be 34 degrees with 70% chance of precipitation today and 90 %  tonight. That is chilly fall weather – and a very good reason to stay cozy and warm inside. A look outside, however, tells me that my yellow, pink, and purple pansies are up to the current weather conditions. They thrive on, inspiring me with their vibrant colors. On the other hand, my tomato vines look frozen. Can you believe there are actually green tomatoes still growing on the vines? They are coming off today, though, just before I cut the vines down to the ground. The tomatoes should be good for salsa. Have you ever cooked fried green tomatoes on the first day of Thanksgiving week? I haven’t, but today I might make history and include them for dinner.

Another part of my first-day-of-Thanksgiving-week agenda is being spent blogging. I blog every day. I love to blog, and I love to inspire newbie and wannabe bloggers to blog. Want to learn how to blog? Join the High Desert Bloggers on Saturday, December 3, 2011 from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at McDonald’s at 19200 Bear Valley in Apple Valley. You’re on your own for McDonald’s breakfast, but the Meetup is FREE.

Thank you for visiting High Desert Blogging. Come back for more visits this week to learn more about what is happening in the High Desert Bloggers group, a Meetup group. We hope you’ll join us at the next Meetup and invite you to join our High Desert group.

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