March 3, 2012

March Madness

No, I'm not talking about college basketball here, but rather the crazy weather that has characterized this winter and launched us into March. We finally got some of the long-absent heavier snows that we should have seen during December, January, and much of February. It waited until the end of the month - to the eve of Leap Day (February 29) - before rolling in here to blanket the landscape.

The good news is that it wasn't all that much snow - maybe 6 inches or so, it didn't come down incessantly - maybe 18 hours, off and on, and it's already melting rapidly under 50 degree air temperatures and a blazing sun that I'm sure is having its impact. All of those factors make me much happier than I might otherwise be with a "heavy" snowfall. And they are nothing compared to the devastation that has befallen some communities in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky from the spate of tornadoes that slammed into them in the past few days. I send them prayers for recovery, and count my blessings for the relatively minor effects the snow has had on life here.

Just before the snows started to fall on Tuesday, I was up very early (as usual) and found, as I looked out the window, that I was not alone. A small herd of deer were making their way up the hill to the lawn, as they have been inclined to do fairly regularly this winter, for their morning graze. There were a couple of fairly small ones lagging at the back of the group - fawns that are probably six months to a year old, I'd guess. What made this little group a bit unusual was how close to the house they came that morning. Usually they're a good 50-75 feet from the structure...far enough that they can dart quickly to the adjacent woods, but Tuesday one of the ringleaders showed no real reluctance to stroll just beyond the windows. So, of course, I grabbed my camera and tried to snap a few shots as quickly as I could before I spooked him (or her...).

It was fun to see them out there, finding plenty of room to roam and graze, along with the shelter of the woods. It struck me as I observed them that they really are well designed by Mother Nature to blend fairly invisibly into the landscape with their light brown coats matching the grey/putty color of the terrain.

The other neat thing about this time of year is the ongoing display I've been enjoying from my amaryllis bulbs. My previous post displayed the brilliant Valentine red blooms of my largest flower, but those blossoms have faded. I'm now admiring the salmon pink of my second and third bulbs, which have provided a bit of cheer in an otherwise bleak view of the outdoors.

My pink geraniums, wintered over from last summer, also are in bloom and continue to thrive in the south-facing windows and sunny warmth of this partially passive solar house. They've been wonderful reminders that Spring, and cute bunnies and pastel colored things are not far in the future...along with shamrocks and corned beef. I'm more than ready for all of them!