Raining and raining.

The pollen burst the day after both cars were washed by big and little hands alike. I couldn’t think of the last time both cars were clean at the same time.

The green and gold rained down.

And then the rains came.

Everything human coated in a gold green tint. The garden, keeping it separated.

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Not peachy.

Things can’t always be peachy keen. Sometimes when that happens, if I look, I can find a plum and focus on that plum until things look up.

Foreground, background, blooms all around.

June, the plum tree, has four varieties grafted to her dwarf trunk. This branch has yet to set fruit in the years we’ve had her.

I’d yet to prune her in the years we’ve had her.

This picture was Friday and then DH and I left the little loves at home (with his folks) and set off to a resort up the road a smidge. It was our fifteenth anniversary last week (what!?) and so we celebrated with a night of (awful) sleep, a fine dining (delicious) dinner, and an old favorite action movie playing on cable. It was splendid.

Today, the branch is ensconced in blossoms and I’m hopeful the fruit will set before the next storm unleashes downpour. And I’m hedging my bets we’re done with freezing (last average frost is a week or so away and the ten day forecast looked promising. I put out beans and corn today…)

Or perhaps this branch never fruits precisely because it blooms too soon in the spring and the rains take away any chance.

Soft light covers

I didn’t sow any snow peas this year… odd.

They didn’t mind their light blanket so much as their bean neighbors did. A small final harvest, but I marvel at any bean harvest in December.

The volunteer cherry tomato plant weathered the frost, so those will not be the last winter bites of tang.

And skeptical of the forecast, my love harvested the limes. Twenty two in all and when he unwrapped Bill the next day, he was no worse for the wear…including a few incognito limes left hanging.

I do hope the butterflies will return to the lantana. There was a true kaleidoscope of them alight upon the blossoms some days.

Warming up.

It’s only 70 today. We’ve already had our first 90 degree day. The lakes are full for the first time since 2007 such that they’re talking about opening the floodgates.

The grackles, mostly, benefit from my feeder. Pecking order became quickly apparent. They’re quite colorful, in their dark way.

The jays, doves, and cardinals come next, in that order. Finally the finches and sparrows on clean-up duty if there’s any left to clean.

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I’m warming up as well. Stretching my limbs and strengthening the sedentary after weeks of stillness. My eyes, even, need to stretch having been restricted in their view to the near and dear.

So the beds have some fish fertilizer

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The tomatoes were well cared for in my absence.

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And the unwanted crepe myrtle is making a stand.

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We’d been wondering if our backyard’s central tree (the type of which we’re not fans) had died. Last year it was budding on the heels of the hackberries behind it.

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Alas, or at last, life unfurls.

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Are there China berry trees that don’t look like China berry trees? If so, this is one.

Wakeful trees

The rain came in the night. The windows sounding protest against drops as hard as hail. The lightning more witness to the scene. Drink, earth, drink, the thoughts beneath my inner voice coaxed. The thunder resounded, responded. Sleep, child, sleep.

The pecan sleeps.
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The Arizona Ash stirs.
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Seasonal is as seasonal does.

It’s still odd to me. It’s citrus season here. It’s chilly out. No real winter yet, even by our standards of “winter” and yet this is normal citrus season. I’m worried about the bugs this coming year if we don’t get a good freeze soon…

But the potted citrus are enjoying much more time outside than in usual years when they decorate our kitchen.
Kumquats seeing their best year yet.
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Marmalade anyone?
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Bill, the Persian Lime, is still ripening fruit from the past season, but he likes to multi-task.
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Oscar the Meyer Lemon is trying to both grow leaves (of which he has terribly few) and set buds for blossoms. I’ll be knocking those off as they appear. If he can’t manage to keep leaves through a season I don’t want him worrying about setting fruit just yet.

There are two mandarin oranges left on the tree that we’ll snack on now that buds are beginning there as well.

Finally, not a citrus, but Elian the Avocado, is pushing new leaves through like its going out of style. DH is talking again about planting him in the ground near a pond nearby…but I’m still hesitant. Elian is a volunteer from years ago who has grown quite tall under our care, but as a volunteer I have no information regarding his variety. Avocados of any variety don’t seem too tolerant below 25 degrees, and we do drop below 25 degrees some years. I’d hate to lose him in an freeze, but I also know that in a pot he’ll always struggle to find happiness.