On the First Signs of Spring

Holland Camellia

Spring arrives relatively early here in northern Texas—several weeks earlier that what I experienced growing up in Oklahoma. And about 12-to-14 weeks earlier than when we lived in Minneapolis.

Technically the first signs of Spring’s impending arrival here are . . . weeds. In fact, I’ve been in engaged in a pitched battle against dandelion and henbit for several weeks now and believe I’m getting the upper hand. And last weekend I launched a fierce preemptive strike against crabgrass and dallis grass—having lost nearly half of one side of my front lawn to the unholy invaders last summer.

The price of liberty and weedless lawns is eternal vigilence.

By the way, did you know that the dandelion plant was introduced to North America by the first European colonists . . . as a food source. It’s true. You can prepare and eat dandelion leaves as you would collard greens or “poke salad.” Tuck that away in your memory in the event there’s a complete breakdown of social order and we find ourselves in some sort of post-apocolyptic crisis. You can survive on dandelions in a pinch.

While enjoying Valentine’s Day coffee with Mrs. Blather on the patio this glorious morning (we’re expecting sunshine and 78 today), we noticed the two blossoms pictured above on one of our two Camellia trees. Many more will follow over the next few weeks. And then they’ll be done for the year–first in, first out.

The azaleas are up next, along with the Redbud and ornamental Cherry we planted a year ago last winter. Then the dianthus, the other perennials, and finally the roses.

Summer’s heat will arrive soon enough and refuse to leave until October. Until then, we’ll savor the first splashes of color. And offer up genuine thanks for the little pleasures we find here on Pine Thicket Lane.