I have NOT been posting really since last fall when the sun went away and the period of gray/wet/mud begins. I have never made that transition well here.... probably since I grew up in the desert, a place I sometimes dearly miss....for its beauty and wide open space not to mention MORE blue sky. BUT. Every year, it seems someone kisses a little warm sunny air into my lungs ....sometime later in March and I begin to wake up from the doldrums. That was this past week. I am simply posting some quickie pics I've taken today. So, a bunch of pics, but no words needed in my opinion. IF this doesn't cheer anyone up about the coming spring, I can't help you. ****I KNOW, I post one of these year, and it IS mostly for a record. When I compare some years to others, they can be very different................. The Cranes were astounding...I've never been just when they were first arriving.....where they gather into one huge flock before finishing the migration into Canada for nesting and family time. This time, they hadn't begun that since it was STILL so cold.....Once I was out past the first huge bird station, I began seeing flocks every 1/2 mile or so...some close to the road....always one of the flocks in the air flying, chortling those beautiful calls, it was a magnificent nature feeling (the one pic that's not mine): **The next trip is Wednesday w/cuz Nancy....I can't wait to see the changes in how large the groups are, and how the herons are doing colonizing the two trees they make a nesting community in every year. The yard cleanup must continue..... every time I think I'm done, the next day it looks like I've hardly begun. Although I've sawed and hauled off the biggest branches, this stuff still remains to be hauled off to the compost piles: . If one stays in a place long enough, your little treasure begin to show their age. We made the glove form hypertufa..and I don't think the wear hurts it: We made the bird bath out of hypertufa as well some 12 years ago.....still lookin' fine: The Walnut tree has given up the ghost, and is lying in state awaiting decomposition: The Japanese Kerria butchered by the surveyor last summer? You can see the dead stuff on the bottom, but I have new hope...lots of new growth showing, this will be solid yellow in 3 weeks: NEW LIFE is re-generating in the yard....in no particular order: *our yellow weeping fir survived its first winter and has new growth it branch ends, yea (someday, this should look really gorgeous): . Putting the lovely composted manure is paying off with good looking rhubarb starts: . The leeks! Survived the mild winter temps, and have NEW growth....yum: . The French Fennel had a banner year in 2011...2 pints of fennel seed were saved, and the plant itself is one gorgeous plant in summer: . well, sure EVERYBODY is tired of daffodils, but they simply tell me...."the season has begun", and in this case, Lord Buddha officiates in style: . and ONCE again, the Flowering Currants will pop open in just a couple days it appears....the FIRST delicious pollen for the newly arrived Rufous Hummingbirds: . Sure, we all know WHAT it is, but even THESE little humble chives make me brighten up....it's the FIRST thing one eat from your garden every year, and you know with 3-4 clumps, you can eat all you want ALL summer: . In fact, I was eyeing the veggie garden space....WE will be ready to till in about 3-4 weeks......the leaf mulch from fall has broken down, almost NO weeds, alium and leeks are up, bay laurel with new leaves, chives, fennel, orgeno brightening up....I'm ready for another garden year: Even the BERM is finally beginning to look more decent as some of the plants started 5-6 years ago are filling in: And looking from the north side, we are calculating just how much more lawn to get rid of and enlarge the garden...this shows the space without the plum tree removed last fall...and it's obvious, that THIS sunny spot begs to grow something fun: AND FINALLY: There is always an appropriate time to work the dog with a stick or ball, then torture him one or two times with a cookie.....I don't think he's figured out I'm exploiting him: Alright then! Let the rain start up again tonight. .....another week of wet weather. I can get through it more cheerfully this time.