The western skyline looked like a polluted city's sky earlier last Wednesday morning due to a major fire that was burning in southern Oklahoma. To the south smoke hovered over the valley until southern winds in the afternoon blew most of the haze back north. With all the dry grass and dead leaves blowing about, these are the days most fear fire more than drought; days when even the slightest scent of smoke can send one quickly into a vehicle to identify its source.
What moisture exists within the top layers of the ground is steadily rising in the grass that is located within the drip line of the trees. Green circles have started to form around the base of the trees that grow in the lawn as the micro-ecosystems come back online in preparation for Spring. It seems early for this area to me, but just last Monday I saw geese flying north and already the dandelions and clover are beginning to grow. Still, I have been told time and time again, there will be a major freeze prior to Easter.
Last Sunday, I sat beside a pond working on a newsletter I send to family members once a week. Out among the forest sounded the voices of many frogs that had come to life; another oddity, I thought. Usually I seem to hear them later in the early Spring.
These types of days are among my favorite here, especially the time before the insects hatch in great numbers. I recall one Summer when these little critters locals call buffalo gnats came out so thick one couldn't go outside without returning with bites all over exposed skin, a not-so-favorite memory among my many good ones in the country.
I am amazed that I have lived or visited the same place long enough to have noticed the oak trees growing. Some that I remember as saplings are now ten to twelve feet tall and six to eight inches around. One in particular arose from the stump of a tree that was taken for firewood.
I probably should be clearing brush on weekdays such as this, but, hopefully, there will be other days for that. Days when it is a bit colder and I can peel a layer of clothes off or put more on to regulate body temperature as I work. For now I'll enjoy the warm wind, the lack of insects, and watch the dog as he stares out across the pond in search of a turtle to dive in after. I guess he, too, has his own random musings.