Neighbors, Chickens, And All That’s To Come



Though we’ve only just begun, it’s been a pleasantly warm winter so far in Saint Louis. The forecast for today calls for a blustery 55 degrees. Last Saturday, my wife and I cleaned out our garage. In the process, I nearly fell head-long into spring fever. Thoughts of expanding our backyard planting beds and adding a few shrubs here and there nearly overtook me. Perhaps it was my subconscious mind looking for a means of escaping the work at hand – every stitch of outdoor anything that lives in the garage was, by that time, lining the driveway, teasing and taunting me, refusing to offer any hope of organization – but the weather was, truly, inspiring.


Once the drizzles had passed, yesterday was another. Not as sunny, but there were no windows to scrape and no steps to salt, either. People were out walking en masse. My next-door neighbors were among them, I found, as they were just returning from a walk as I was arriving home after picking up some groceries. As these neighbors keep a small herd of chickens in their back yard – the middle of the city, Holly Hills, no less – and as this fascinates me to no end, I make an extra effort to greet them and express a little kindness or humor any time I see them.


Such was the case yesterday when, after some greetings and small talk with them, I mentioned the beautiful spring we’ve been having. After a brief chuckle, one or the other of them assured me that winter will return with a vengeance and that the temperature April first will be twelve degrees. As I’m pretty certain they were forecasting in Fahrenheit rather than Celsius measurements, the wind was immediately gone from my sails. All that to say that today, in retaliation for that most unexpected kidney punch, and in an effort to avoid discouragement, I once again offer spring cheer in the form of a handful of pictures of the spring-flowering plants that are certain to be bursting with color within the next few days (read: months), maybe hours. Enjoy.


I’m hoping to see Winter Aconite in bloom by lunch time today.


Daffodils and hyacinth, perhaps by tomorrow.


Crocus giving glory by Sunday.


Dogwood and magnolia by next Tuesday.


Iris shortly thereafter.


And roses before the month is out.


Ok, maybe not.


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