Spring has finally come. Or is it summer already? The last big snow storm on the Sangre de Cristos melted a few days ago, and now there is only a tiny sliver of white on the highest peak. Today, the temperature is in the 80s, and tomorrow it is supposed to be over 90.
The western bluebirds and Say’s phoebes have built their nests while the purple house finches are looking for their space. Piñon jays have appeared in great flocks, the first time that has happened in years, perhaps because of the years-long drought and the early spring rains we have had. The spotted towhees are back with their distinctive cheerful sound, and the ravens are brooding in a huge nest built of sticks (too big to be called twigs) in a juniper on the bank of the arroyo. Black-chinned hummingbirds have arrived at the feeders, but it is too early for the more aggressive broad-tails. It has been a joy to watch the migrants traveling through our yard on their trip up north. Lizards are sunning themselves on the patio wall.
Apricots and peaches put on an early show and then promptly froze, so again there won’t be fruit from the trees in our yard. Lilacs and daffodils have finished their performance, and now the irises and columbines are at their peak with the peonies bowing down as their huge flowers overwhelm the slender stems. The native plants have also begun to color the landscape: evening primroses (both yellow and white varieties), yuccas and their accompanying hawk moths, paintbrush, buckwheat, and Artemisia. The color should start to come in waves now until the winter frost with chollas, fern bushes, desert willows, sacred daturas, desert four-o’clocks, sunflowers, cow pen daisies, and asters joining in at just the appropriate time.
With all of this gong on, it has become harder to cook and to make images in the kitchen, so I decided to take a break and wander around my wife’s beautiful garden. I hope you will forgive this lapse, and I also hope that you enjoy this little break from cooking.
Enjoy your summer ahead.