Spring struck. After a mild winter with only periodic cold spells, the trees began threatening to bud weeks too soon and I worried that even if the precipitation roared back from last year's drought, that a run-of-the-mill hard freeze would dash in and muck up the works.
Here are the Bradford Pear trees in front of our barn, in full bloom - in February:
Spring always comes, robust or no, but what has all of us particularly excited is that La Nina seems to have lost her grip on the southern plains section of the country that includes Oklahoma. La Nina, as most of us know, is a recurring weather pattern caused by cooler than average Pacific ocean temperatures off the western coast of South America. A typical result is that our little slice of heaven gets less rain. Without getting too political, no matter what is going on in terms of climate change, you'd still expect to be seeing the La Nina/El Nino patterns. They tell us that last year's drought was caused by a strong La Nina and had been predicting that La Nina would keep her stranglehold on us until about March. Its impact is often strongest in the winter. Happily, it looks like they missed the forecast, at least around here, because we've been in a typical late winter/early spring weather pattern for months. We've gotten abundant rain that has turned the prairie lush and filled the farm ponds that were cracked and dry just a few months ago. And, really, the rains came back last fall so the forecast seems particularly way off. Our rain is actually up from the average. It is still quite warm for this early in the year, at least from time to time, but at least the precipitation is behaving properly.
This photo was taken in August, right after Bobby tilled the land in preparation to plant:
By Mid October, the rains were still holding off. Here is a picture of our run off pond - ugh, the drought was brutal:
Mid December 2011:
Okay. It crosses my mind that Bobby may just end up with no crop. I worry about that. I spent some bit of time wondering about it. I am starting to wonder if there is something wrong with the dirt. I worry that the field doesn't work or something. Maybe it is too dry. Maybe the sporadic rain that came washed away all the seed. Maybe the birds ate all the seed. Maybe the dips in the land (it just looks flat) filled with water and drowned the wheat. Maybe some pesticide someone used was actually an herbicide. Maybe all the plants are going to die or something. Maybe Bobby did it wrong. Maybe someone sabotaged his wheat to drive up demand for their own crop. I often stood and stared at it. Seriously, there was something wrong with that crop.
(Something wrong with the crop? How about the gurl standing there staring at it???)
I am an educated gurl. It is part of my training to spot a problem and get to the bottom of it. It's what I do. :)
Mid February 2012:
Hmmm. About this time, I start to hope that at least Bobby will get SOMETHING from the field. Alternatively, I am glad to see some plant cover because at least it isn't as ugly. It just seems, to me, that the crop ought to be further along than that.
February 24, 2012:
Having now been educated about things common people have known for thousands of years, I will never look at a recently plowed and planted field the same way I once did. A recently planted field is just Mother Nature's early baby bump but I was too ignorant/arrogant to realize it.
Evelyn turned seven on March 14th:
Pearly is continuing to heal:
She seems to have all her vision back and goes back to the eye specialist, next week. We hope he will decide she is ready to decrease her oral prednisone dosage, further. She'll feel better.
I've actually been pretty busy working on quilting projects and finished the quilt top on my 9-11 quilt:
I also started on a new art quilt but haven't gotten too far on it. Here is the inspiration:
Here is a shot, in progress:
But the big news:
LOOK AT THIS BABY!!!
Yup, I spent last weekend in NYC visiting my kids. As a long distance Grandma, it's so hard to not be there to see Charlie change from day to day. I consider it to be a clear gift from the gods and a reminder that they love me that he started walking within hours of my arrival and I was there to see it!
One of my girls just got a new apartment in Brooklyn and the girls and I spent the day at her place and in the neighborhood:
Here's the cityscape from my son's apartment:
Quite a difference from what I'm used to but it's Charlie's home town and has its own charms. During his naps, I took a few walks and found myself desperately seeking out green. I am always charmed by the bits of nature set out by the residents of the City who have a little earth witch in them:
The person who set out the following had good intentions but I'm not sure about that plant on the right:
I loved the following photo:
NYC is filled with people who love their dogs:
While I was gone, we got over 3.75 inches of rain. I promptly headed out to the property to recharge my earth batteries and here are a few photos:
Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl