Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Air Says "Spring"

The calendar may say Winter, but today the air announces Spring. A fresh, rain-washed breeze riots through a grove of companionable Arizona Cypress that leans over South Fork; their droopy branches stir.

The creek flows strongly, at long last, after the past year's severe drought. Our big water debt has been helped by the storms of El Niño. Portal just recorded its wettest January in 39 years of record-keeping, something to celebrate. At Kim and Lorraine's house, the total topped 5"; Alan and I recorded 4.5". The creek has obviously flooded recently––big clumps of Deer Grass along its margins still lie flattened. New greens touch the grasses.

Flattened Deer Grass (Photo by Narca)

The leps agree that spring is around the bend. I spy several small moths flitting around the trunks of the oaks, but no butterflies yet. Soon!

Arizona Hairstreak (Photo by Narca)

The willows at the bridge are budding. Their blooms will lure in Arizona and Siva Hairstreaks, and migrating Yellow and Wilson's Warblers will forage in the leafy thickets––soon!

Siva Juniper Hairstreak (Photo by Narca)

The Canyon Wren is bobbing more energetically today, and scolds me. I whistle, but can't yet trigger his cascade of song––soon! Very soon!

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