People are coming out of their houses, shoots are pointing up like green arrows from beneath the melted snow. The crocuses and daffodils are lending pops of happy brightness. Birds are returning, winter jackets are coming off, rain is soaking the earth and the sun is warming our faces. With the official arrival date of the Spring Equinox, everything is leaning into the light. We are emerging and beginning to rise.

Normally I would be planting sugar snap peas about now, but I think I’m going to skip it this year and utilize our local farmer’s market instead for most things, except maybe some herbs and cherry tomatoes to be grown in pots on The Urban Porch.

The other day Rudi Dog and I spent a little while sitting out on the porch wicker chairs, basking in some surprisingly warm afternoon sun. I haven’t taken the chair cushions out yet and gotten into the full porch-hanging mode, but soon…..

enjoying the warmth on the Urban Porch

We sat there and watched a flock of noisy crows perusing the neighborhood from high above. One sentinel crow remained perched on top of the Crow Tree on the corner, which still – amazingly and terrifyingly – remains standing. We will see if they will decide to return to roost here this year. I’m not sure if the presence or absence of their favorite lookout tree will have any bearing on that. Meanwhile, those giant maples continue to pose a danger to those who dare to walk below them. Parts of them have continued to beautifully leaf out annually, masking the situation – like wolves in sheep’s clothing.

return of the crows

Our nocturnal visitor, the mostly-white-on-top skunk, has made a surprising appearance in daylight. He/she frequently crosses the driveway, going back and forth from the fence along the carport, disappearing beneath the cars, then heads into the shade garden. It does not linger, but rather quickly surveys the area and then goes back to wherever it came from. I’m not sure what it is that the skunk is looking for or finding out there, but that appears to be the pattern. I am always happy to see it and wonder if there will be any kits following it around this spring.

a daytime visit

From my bedroom window I can look down to see the bright vermillion bodies of my next door neighbor’s koi fish, as they arise from the bottom of the pond after their winter hibernation. Little dashes of orange joy.

welcome back Koi!

Speaking of emerging, I had mentioned in my last post that while visiting family in the southwest, even though there were signs indicating them, I didn’t see any rattlesnakes.

But shortly after leaving there, with the days warming up, one did appear in their garden wall. Whoa! A rather cool, up-close sighting. Since things are emerging all over, I thought I might mention it. You have to figure where there is one, there are probably more, since snakes do like to hang out in stone walls. Fun fact – Roadrunner birds eat rattlesnakes!

Diamondback Rattlesnake in the garden
– photo by Mike S.

We have timber rattlesnakes in the woods and higher elevations here, but the ones dwelling in my yard have just been small garter snakes. Although not as dramatic a sighting, the garter snakes will do some posturing and put on a little show if they feel threatened. I expect they should be making an appearance around the house and garden as the days continue to gain heat.

I am currently coming off the high of southwestern fare – chile rellenos, enchiladas, green chile sauce. To switch gears, celebrate the fresh new season and get back into the groove at home, I made some very delicious shrimp scampi, a colorful spinach salad, and chocolate mousse for dessert (made with rum and espresso, which is way yummy….but I think it might have contributed to keeping me up too late at night!). Actually, I have been on a bit of a scampi kick lately…….maybe once a week it’s been scampi. That, and repeating an asparagus/gnocchi dish. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with being on an eggroll binge, which I am continuing to indulge in. This new season probably deserves the exploration of some new recipes and maybe some new ingredients. We will see….

While walking the dog along the sidewalk yesterday, it was lovely to say hello to some of the neighbors emerging from their homes, out on their own porches, enjoying the nice weather. Everything arising…..


This entry was posted in Birds, Cooking, nature, Spring, The Urban Porch, Uncategorized, Weather, Wildlife and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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