Bosque County, Texas, USA
September 14
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MARCH 2, 2012 4:25PM

Spring Rain

Rate: 39 Flag

     After a summer unknown in living memory, of more than 70 days of temperatures over 100 degrees, of the worst drought ever recorded, of the worst loss of trees and wildlife that one season has ever claimed, we had what passes for winter around here. Some people are bemoaning the fact that we never got a hard freeze, saying that the pesky pests will be outumbering us. I say they got wiped out with the summer, and we can manage without winter just fine.

     Still, it is an early warmth, and with the generosity of some gentle soaking rains, the earth is wakening from its little nap. Everwhere I look are buds and blooms, green grass and butterflies. I can't keep up with it all, and my drive to town is a distraction. Not traffic of course, but all the inviting sights outside the window of my car.



The little creek on our lane shows the muddy path taken by cattle
who cross it for the greener grass.


This is Spring Creek, and looks healthy and well again.
That's a blue heron flying off to the right.


 Something about a red barn makes me think of Norman Rockwell.
We need some freckled kids or soldier boys to complete the scene.


 One of my sisters must have planted this in the yard.
Maybe it is an azalea?


 The paper whites are always first to signal that winter is over.
I trust them more than the groundhog.


Daffy Down Dilly has Come to Town
In her Green Skirt and her Yellow Gown.


 The rosemary bush is happy to be here,
and has fragrant blooms to show for it.


 In town, the pear trees bloom for a few too short days.


 Early to tell, but this little feller will grow to be a Texas Longhorn.

      I hope your spring will come in beauty. I hope that this summer will be kinder than the last. I am glad for spring rain.


 * click on images to see in larger format *

 images © diana ani stokely 2012 - all rights reserved



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I am ready for these same sights and sounds -smells in my neck of the woods - but I'm afraid we have some time to wait yet - it snowed today - but your photos can at least tide me til it is time here in the midwest. Thanks for sharing.
Ha, That little cow is so cute! Thank you for this peek into spring. It is coming here too and not soon enough!
We are getting close to that. Have crocus, daffodils are budding. Nothing on the trees, but I saw a bat this morning.
Thanks for this. It's always nice to see other parts of the country at the same time of year.
God bless the rain and bring more to the right places please. I hope we see bluebonnets this year. Great photos -- love the pear trees too.
Did someone say Creek?
Your pictures look like the English countryside yet you write with an American accent.
Love it,
"Press the big button please FRed(tm)."
Right as rain! This is so cool, Diana; simply beautiful. R
lovely, diana. my faves are the last two - twiggy trees and that curly-furred guy. have a nice spring.
Not too Springy here yet.
The photos are nice.
That "maybe azalea" looks to be one of the cultivars of Chaenomeles speciosa, Common Flowering Quince.
Spring was in the air here too today but certainly no beautiful blossoms yet like you show. Thanks for sharing the promise of Spring.
So lovely! Thanks for sharing - we've still got a ways to go here in the Upper Midwest. I needed this pop of color on a cold, gray winter day.
(PS I don't think it is an azalea, but I could not love that li'l Longhorn more!)
As I look at your beautiful pictures, I know that we have weeks to go before we get anywhere near to that fresh state of nature's rebirth. But, as they say, I'll wait for April showers to bring the May flowers here. Thank you for the lovely treat.
How lovely! The pear trees especially are so beautiful, but so fragile. thanks for sharing.
Loved seeing these, Diana especially the rosemary and the cow. We never had much of a winter so things are budding early in my neck of the woods as well.
Amen to spring rain and a better summer. Thanks for the lovely flowers--and the cute critter!
This is a wonderful photo essay. I'm so glad you shared it, and your world, with us.
Glad to know spring has sprung. I also love the smell in the air and this post is like a spring day itself.

.........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
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Your photographs are so lovely and calming. ~r
As I read this the smell of fresh cut grass is embedded in my hair. And I'm jealous that my pear trees don't have buds yet! I felt spring in the air and I loved it. rated.
What a beautiful post! It is as hopeful as spring is!
Thank you for these wonderful spring photos. You give me hope!!
Wonderful! Spring is here, or almost so, and here's hoping y'all don't have another drought summer. I think AKA is right about the maybe-azalea; looks like quince to me.
mmm, think i can smell the paper whites if I try real hard
I love the little cow. I just wish Spring should come a little later. r
What a treat. I am such a New Englander– had no idea that paperwhites could grow outside without a bowl of stones and water!
That little cow is so darn cute.
That picture of "in town" should be instructive for urban dwellers. When I tell people I grew up in a small town of 23,000, out here they say "that's not a small town." To which I reply, it is if it's the biggest thing in any direction for 50 miles.

Beautiful pictures.
As with all years before, so ready for spring. We had a cold snap this last few days with a few flurries yesterday but no real snow this winter. The dandelion is so perky isn't it.
Enjoyed this GrannyDi, how is the little one?
Hey Congrats on EP!
Diana ~ thank you for this beautiful photo essay of your lovely corner of Texas! I remember hearing about the awful heat last summer and hope it never returns in that type of relentless fashion again. Despite what happened it great to see the natural world in bloom there! Your photos could easily be part of a "See Texas First" visitors campaign, too!
We drove across Texas from West to East two weeks ago (see my blog, "Driving Across America"). There was lots of green, soft raindrops, puddles, and of course, cows, which seem to be an integral part of the landscape.
Spring is sprung! I can't wait 'til the next rainstorm comes. It makes plucking weeds much less stressful.

Your photo essay is awesome.
My apologies for tardy response to your kind comments.

LammChops, I expect the snow will give way to green shoots real soon. Hopefully your patience holds out.

zanelle, I figured you'd have spring before us! I saw three calves this morning, learning to play together. What fun.

phyllis45's Bright Eyes, it is a good feeling to see the bulbs break ground, eh? Two doors down from my office is a bat-filled building. The smell of guano can be pretty pungent, but they are kinda fun to watch when they pour forth at dusk to hunt.

Marty'sHusband, I heard these spring rains will bring a bumper crop of bluebonnets, which is a sight better than what we got last year. I love all the blossoms and buds. Give Marty a hello hug from me.

Ah, CreekEnd UK and FRed(tm), yes, I think I pass the creek in the lane, then the one at the Bratcher's place, then Spring Creek, then a few along the highway, then Pecan Creek, plus the Leon River before I get to work. It makes me happy to think this countryside and yours look so similar.

Thoth, thank you kindly. I hadn't thought of that old saying before, "right as rain." It makes so much sense to me now, living in a drought prone area.

candace, I always appreciate your visits, and am pleased you like the photos. I hope your spring is lovely, and expect you'll be photographing it too.

alsoknownas, thank you so much! Common flowering quince, eh? I looked it up, and agree with you entirely. My dad's been dead 8 years now, and I wonder if he put it there, and I never saw it before. But, my sisters have the gift of gardening, and likely planted it.

Scarlett Sumac, the sun is tilting your way now, and the buds will burst soon. Please share your photos when they do.

Jennifer Prestholdt, you're welcome! I heard the upper midwest had some winter this past week, but hope your patience holds out for a few more weeks. I bet you'll have bulbs blooming soon.

Seer, you say the nicest things! I love that you love the photo essays.

FusunA, is it true that you won't see flowers until May? By then, we will be having temperatures hitting the 90s! It's nice, though, that we can share our different worlds through this medium. Thanks for visiting.

Bernadine! You're welcome. I wish pear blossoms lasted just a few more days. They are truly ephemeral.

A Simple Shutterbug, I know you'll be out in muddy fields and paths soon, capturing the Atlantic seaboard version of an early spring. I look forward -- as always -- to seeing your photos.

AtHomePilgrim, thanks. I surely hope we have a better year.

Spike the Chicken, you are welcome to visit any time. I don't seem to find time to write so much lately, but cannot help grabbing the camera and holding on to these images.

Algis Kemesys, I appreciate your visit, and know you will be sharing your own spring with us all real soon. I wish we could post the smell of spring on the internet.

Thanks, Joan H., for coming by. If my photos brought you some calm, I am glad. Wish you could visit me here.

Desnee Flakes, I see you are from South Carolina. Beautiful country! I imagine you'll be seeing dogwoods in bloom soon. I feel jealous just thinking of it.

SheilaTGTG55, as hopeful as spring! I love that.

zanelle, you're too good to me, and I apologize for being slow.

nanatehay, where's the photos of your own spring? I look forward to your photo essay. I kinda figured you'd be setting me straight about the maybe-azalea really-quince.

hyblaean-Julie, aren't paperwhites beautiful when the sun shines through them? I wish we had smell-o-vision too.

Christine Geery, thanks. I cannot imagine wishing Spring would come later. You will have to explain that one to me.

greenheron! I had no idea paperwhites could be grown indoors! We definitely need to get together and compare notes. I thought of you yesterday when I saw some cast metal drawer pulls, in the shape of bird skulls.

Erica K, yeah, the little cow is a dear, that fat fluffy tail just pulls my heartstrings.

Con, I am happy you caught the "in town" reference. That shot is taken in the town of Cranfills Gap (pop. 325), where we go to get our mail. From the house, it takes me about 10 minutes to drive there. I drive another 20 minutes to get to Hamilton where my shop is. The population here is 8,500. Whooo-hooo!

rita shibr, yes, spring is awaited with joy. Thanks for asking, my grandson is now 7 weeks old, looks all around, working on his focusing skills. There is a little smile that goes with the twinkle in his eyes, too.

designanator, you are welcome, as always. I hope we have a better summer of it than last year. Texas was hit so hard, but the torture went on for so many months, that it might seem trivial to some. That water in the lane and in Spring Creek is the first we've had in over a year. Thank you for your visit.

Pam Malone, thanks, I will go check your "Driving Across Texas" blog today. The temperatures are so pleasant now, it is a joy to be outside.

Belinda T. - yeah, pulling weeds is easy when the ground is soft. What? soft ground? I do love the water that falls from the sky. Thanks for your visit.
I'm seething with envy but happy for your healing rain.
Sarah, you wouldn't feel any envy during the summer, so I guess this weather blessing evens out a little. I think your winter was milder than usual though, eh? You'll be seeing crocus any day now.
Yep...Texas flowering quince. I have two in my front yard. I'm in Pittsburgh but loved flowering quince and ordered two bare root. The are thriving here. The small fruit is edible if you cook it. Our ancestors use to do so and make preserves, pies, etc.
Beautiful, even without the freckled kids!
very beautiful pics and lovely words
Wonderful Spring! I get depressed in the Winter, so am VERY glad to see Spring arrive. Here in Pennsylvania, it was a mild winter, and an early spring. It was 78 degrees here today, and the crocus are up, and some little trees had pink buds all over them, and mostly all the trees have those fuzzy, goldgreen buds all over them. Wheeeeeeee! Bring it on!
Lovely pictures! We finally got rain here in Northern California this weekend, too. It was a blessing. Last year we had no summer, this year so far almost no winter. We are dreading summer. Nothing like Texas, however!
I love Texas! Especially when it's NOT summer...In our CA foothills spring came early & has been rudely interrupted this week by winter. Can't complain, we need the rain & the snow. (and whatever that pink flower is, I have one in my yard, too...) Lovely photos!