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Movin' On With Nellie: Signs of spring and new life

Posted: Friday, Mar 8th, 2013

Spring is almost here; and, the wind is bully-ish like it is already spring around here. How is it that March is famed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb? Here in the Valley, the third month of the calendar comes in like a lion and out like a pride of loud and hungry lionesses.

This weekend is the start of daylight savings time— an event not even two weeks from the vernal equinox.

Some mornings with snow showers and temperatures at 18 degrees are too cold to even imagine a spring day; but the afternoons upward of 60 degrees or more are welcome delights for those gardeners like Robin James who freshly planted tulip bulbs and seeds. The ranchers have already welcomed spring air with their newborn calves, lambs and kids bumping into life.

Edna raises goats and sheep; and she and her brother Jerry have already met new additions to their herd. When it is especially cold, she has a heat lamp in the barn to warm the small bodies in their first hours. After she broke her pinky finger trying to insist that a new mama goat nurse her twins, Jerry has volunteered for the early morning duties. A pair of kids was recently born in the field, away from the barn. They safely retrieved them and established them with their mom in a nook in the barn.

Spring comes in atypical ways in different geographical areas, like Galveston. I learned from one of my sisters, Barb, that she was greeted by a house roof brushing by her second story office window, not far from the San Luis pass on Galveston Island the other day. She described it as a beach house without its stilts just driving by. Her description of the near-window experience reminded me of the adrenaline rush at seeing Johnny Depp in the Valley last summer. The whole event was a burst of humor and awe to see a whole house and its sliding glass doors moving along the double lane highway, a stone’s throw from the beach.

My other sister, Lori, is marking her retirement from the university this spring. She has already filled her retirement calendar with expanding her skills into real estate and days sipping up the sun on her veranda. So I’m thinking, spring must be a good time to retire.

Family pets also get moving more freely in these days of pre-spring. As reported last week, my cocker spaniels are still up to their antics. Another session with Judy at Valley Dog Training is on my mind as a result. My cats are stricken with early release as they scamper away from each other and tumble across the kitchen floor—one cries out as the other’s friendly fight stings.

As the earth axis tilts for spring, wildlife along the valley floor have increased their movements and migrations. Bald eagles and hawks perch on barren cottonwoods. Migrating Sand Hill Cranes day viewed on Theresa Rudder’s FaceBook posts a couple weeks ago. I have heard their squawks when they fly over Hooper’s unplanted fields. Their annual return marks the pre-spring Crane Festival in Monte Vista this weekend.

Spring has almost sprung and in our dominion over earth, here’s hoping we stay away from destroying the whole of life made precious in the spring. Enjoy the ballet of kids in the fields and the Sand Hill Cranes whooping it up for the festival!

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