One of the main reasons for Team WestEnders choosing a spot in a southerly direction to relocate was definitely climate...disgruntlement. (I may have--just possibly--mentioned this already...once...or a thousand times...) I, particularly, was fed up with (what felt like to me, anyway) frigid Winters that seemed to drag on forever, with too much of the freezing type of precipitation for my liking. So it struck me as veeerrrry amusing that when we moved down here and people found out we were "new", almost everyone took it upon themselves to immediately apologize for A) the steamy Summers (which only made me think, "Dude, we're from the swampy D.C. area; we can deal) and B) the frosty season (to which I didn't even bother to reply, just shook my head and snickered on the inside).
But in the next breath--almost as if they wanted to make it up to me for the bad news they'd sadly imparted--most of them then enthusiastically extolled the virtues of North Carolina Falls and Springs. Having now experienced the Autumnal period, I can add my endorsement for its glorious array of colors and pleasingly mild temperatures. Thus we find ourselves entering into our inaugural Spring as Chapel Hillians...and I am most pleased to report that we are indeed finding it all it's cracked up to be.
It's funny--folks start anticipating the unlamented departure of Winter, and its subsequent replacement with the preferred cousin...we'll call her...Verna...right around March 1st. It's as if everyone expects to flip the calendar page and have it magically usher in the arrival of flowers, balmy breezes, and rising mercury. Don't get me wrong, I jumped right the heck on this merry little bandwagon...Spring has always been my absolute favorite time of the year, after all. But I admit that I harbored some doubts as to just how realistic these tales were--it seemed like a bunch of wishful thinking to this skeptical transplanted Northerner.
And...whattya know...it happened just about like they said it would. Maybe not with a sprinkling of...fairy dust...on 3/1, or anything...but in the space of a week or so, daffodils popped up out of the ground. Even more of an eye-popping surprise were the trees--those that get decked out in lovely white or pink flowers burst into full bloom seemingly overnight. (I wish I could tell you what they're called, exactly, but my horticultural knowledge is...um, how should I put this...oh yeah: "nonexistent".) Then the other species', jealous of their showier brethren, and eager to participate in the landscape transformation...or some such nonsense...began budding as well. I'm telling ya, it swung from Winter drab to Spring spectacular in just a handful of days. Oh, and it also did warm up--not like "Johna can wear short sleeves", or anything similarly nutty--but enough so that I got all wild and....ditched the fleece layers. (Hey, it totally counts!)
On an unrelated note, I wouldn't consider myself a thorough chronicler unless I disclosed the warnings that have been shared with us also. (You know, like those annoying disclaimers on prescription drugs? But much less...potentially deadly...thank goodness.) For example, people have repeatedly cautioned us about the pine pollen that's due to show up soon. Apparently it is released in bucketfuls, and showers down as a fine yellow mist that not only coats everything stationary, but also can creep in under your garage door and through any gaps in your windows. Soooo, we're all looking forward to THAT. And honestly, I can be a pretty accurate predictor of the p-word, myself: remember those first, gorgeous petals that showed up? Yeah, my nose morphed into some kind of cuckoo-sneeze-factory at the same time. But it seems a small price to pay for the bounty of beauty surrounding us right now.
And finally, speaking of nature's gifts: you know it's really, truly Spring when the Farmer's Market switches back to their full Saturday morning hours, and reinstates the Wednesday evening session. Yep, that would be "today", kiddos. (Da da da DAAAA!) The growing season is evidently well underway, and fresh produce is starting to trickle in from area fields. So I can swing by there on my way home this afternoon and pick out some juicy strawberries and tomatoes...and as long as I keep remembering to do my daily nose-squirts to ward off the plant dust, it's all good. Yay, Spring!