We have spring each year, of course, but sometimes it's difficult to spot.  If we have had a mild winter the weeds don't really stop growing and most of the pastures and yards stay green - at least in part, but sometimes completely green.  We don't ever have spring like I grew up with in the north where the first sign is the crocus peeking through the snow to bloom.  And that great sigh of relief when the snow finally starts to melt.


Here in this part of Texas, spring is usually the realization that it hasn't been cold enough to need a jacket when I feed in the morning for a while now.  Or the first day you wish you had turned on the air conditioner.  Our summers are long and hot and steamy so we usually aren't eager for that season to start.  At least I'm not.


This year we had more freezing temperature than is usual so the pastures and yards, except where they were protected by trees or buildings, are brown.  We still have trees that don't lose their leaves in the fall, live oaks in particular, along with all the evergreens, pine, cedar, holly and cycads, but the land has looked much more bleak than is normal.  My pastures have never looked so dead even with the trees that keep their leaves and therefore their color.


It may be only February but I know spring has come.  The roses are busy putting out their newest tiniest leaves.  The grass is just starting to send up green shoots among the brown ones.  The azaleas are setting buds.  The weeds are doing quite nicely as they always seem to do. 

My husband was out at the garden stores this morning to start picking up new plants.  The vegetable  plants are not available yet but when they are, there will be tomatoes, of course.  I've gotten very used to having large red fresh tomatoes with my salad in the spring.  We planted cherry tomatoes last year and I think I'm over them for now.  They take so much more time to pick.  There will also be peppers, onion, yellow crookneck squash.  I'm not sure what else Ron will find.  He always replants his herb garden with dill, sage, thyme, oregano, flat and curly leafed parsley and basil, of course.


My plan is to do a big planting of marigolds this year.  Last year's crop was small and basically non-productive.  A complete bust.  And there will be sunflowers for the goats and zinnias because I've never planted them before.  And maybe some cotton.  I haven't planted cotton for several years.  We still have a little bit of the raw white cotton left but sold out of the green and brown cotton very quickly.