I keep a rain chart since we are on a rain water collection system, and I show we have had 2-3/10s inches of rain since August 31, 2008, with the last inch being recorded in January and February of this year, 2009. In case you haven't heard, we in Central Texas have the worst drought conditions in the U.S. But, it is amazing what a little moisture will do for grass, native bushes and trees.
To the left is an actual clump of green, native grass. A clump is better than nothing; you'll notice the surrounding area -- it is pure dirt. I know a clump of grass is not very exciting, but it is to us since a week ago there was no green anywhere!
On the right is a blooming agarita bush. It is almost considered a weed, but some people harvest its berries for jelly. A couple of umbrellas or sheets are placed at the bottom of the bush because the leaves can really stick you. The bush is shaken with a gloved hand to get the berries. I have never tasted the jelly but understand that it is quite tart.
The yellow flowers give off the faintest but sweetest aroma when passing nearby. Obviously, agarita can survive months and months without water. Every spring we cut it out of the fence, yet the next year it is back with a vengeance. And, it is always best to wear gloves when working in the yard with agarita around. On the left is a close-up on the blooms.
Next we have the Mountain Laurel tree. It is a slow grower but truly produces the most magnificent cluster of tiny, deep purple flowers -- looks like a cluster of grapes. It is just beginning to bud. The tree should be in full bloom within a week or so. It has huge seed pods; I've even used the seeds as accents in a necklace for that earthy, organic look.
Soon the peach trees will produce some lovely pink flowers. We just hold our breath, though, that there are no hard freezes. When a peach tree is in bloom, a hard freeze cuts down on the peach crop. If you haven't tasted peaches from our part of the world, you haven't lived. :D While our peaches are small, they are the most flavorful peach you have ever put in your mouth. They are addictive. During peach season, you cannot go a day without eating a couple.
When the wild, red bud tree buds out, showing all its glory, you know spring is not far off.
Enjoy the day and until next time, God bless.