Ah, spring. I would bet thousands of poems have been written extolling the virtues of spring, the beautiful flowers, budding trees, warmer temperatures, singing birds, and frisky wildlife. Who doesn’t enjoy all those things?
Unfortunately, here in East Texas, spring brings some unpleasantness with it as well. Yes, I know, you people up north get snow into the summer. And when I looked at the weather in Silverton, Colorado just now–because I love that town–they are under a winter weather advisory with 60% chance of snow.
Here? Right now we have 74% humidity, an expected high of 85 degrees, and a 20 to 45% chance of thunderstorms. Two weeks ago the area just west of me experienced four tornadoes which spread havoc across fifty miles. You may have heard something in the news about the EF4 tornado that hit Canton, Texas. The tornado missed the First Monday Trade Days grounds or there would have been many more casualties than there were. Four people were killed that day.
But the weather isn’t the worst thing about spring. Seasonal allergies top my list of dreaded things in spring. At one point several years ago, my suffering reached such a severe level that I was ready to undergo allergy testing with all those needles and possibly have to give myself shots. And I hate needles! But my wise doctor prescribed three medications that changed my life: Advair, Singulair, and Astelin. Now I only take Flonase (generic) as needed, and an occasional Chlortab.
So the allergy part of my relationship with spring has improved. But oh, those stickers. Every May the ground produces a pretty little green plant with a nasty seed containing a poison thorn on one end. We never had them before the 80’s, and I don’t know how they invaded East Texas, but you can get about 40 of the thorns in the bottom of your foot if you step on a good patch of them. Not fun. As kids we ran barefoot everywhere. My children and grandchildren will never know that kind of bliss.
Then there are the wasps, bumblebees, and snakes. These guys love warmer weather. The other day my husband spotted a three-foot rat snake stretched across the front yard, probably in search of sunlight and food. A smaller rat snake resides in his workshop, often stretched across one of the rafters waiting for a tasty mouse or rat. I was riding on a golf cart with my daughter-in-law and grandson and we spotted a rat snake sticking his head out of the ground like a periscope, which totally blew her mind and surprised me. I’ve never seen one do that, and I have lived here most of my life.
Wasps love to build nests under the eaves of the house and carport, so we are constantly spraying those while trying not to get stung. Wasps seem to have a bad temper, and I have been stung many times, having grown up in the country. It ain’t fun, let me tell you.
There you have it: my love/hate relationship with spring. I love it when the weather is perfect–about 55 at night and 75 during the day, when the thunderstorms don’t produce tornadoes, when the grass grows thick and green without thorns, and when the birds and bees sing and buzz without stinging. I love the azaleas and hydrangeas and daffodils that bloom in my garden, and I love the wild Indian paintbrush, red clover, and black-eyed susans that grow in the fields and roadsides.
How do you like your spring?