Mason County News
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In My Opinion
Blooming Trees, Dusty Days!
Editor
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 • Posted March 12, 2014

Spring in Texas can be a bit confusing. Add to that the problems of continuing drought and erratic climate; and you have spring with more twists and turns than a mountain road.

I walked out the front door of the house the other morning and wrapped my jacket a bit more tightly to ward off the chill. Meanwhile, the blossoms from the tree just off the front porch were drifting down into the yard.

The contradictions of nature are many. As spring begins pushing into the calendar, with all the plants blooming and putting on new growth, the weather still holds back on rainfall just when it's needed the most. Sprinklers come out of storage, hoses get stretched across the yard, and the watering begins once more.

The pastures and the roadsides, meanwhile, don't have the benefit of helpful irrigation. We're only weeks away from the full spring season when plants should be pushing up all across the landscape. If we don't get rainfall soon, what sparse growth does make it up will last only a short time before withering away.

In the fields, orchards and vineyards, growers see their plants exhibiting all the colorful finery of spring, and watch the display with anxious caution. If a hard freeze arrives, it will harm fruit trees, grape vines and other sensitive crops. Yet, we're only in early March, and we very often have freezes as late as April.

Nature may seem confused when we see all of this going on; but, we forget that nature has been playing out this scenario time and again for ages. I remember when I was a child and we had winters that seemed almost tropical, summers that were wet and cool, and almost no discernible spring or fall. As recently as 2007, we had rainfall that began in May and lasted until September. Nature's not so confused as we are forgetful.

Obviously, when it comes to climatology, you can't look at short term indicators. To obtain accurate trends, weather has to be studied over decades, centuries and eons. Our rather limited memories only handle time frames of a few years, or decades at best.

When Texans look at drought scenarios, they often allow the media influence their historical recollections. Our state, though a wonderful place to live, is also a very dry place. With the obvious exceptions of the Gulf Coast and east Texas, most of our state receives very little rainfall for most of the year. When we do receive copious amounts of the wet stuff, it's usually due to tropical systems that move up from the humid Gulf. Sadly, that hasn't happened much in the last five years, and we are truly in drought conditions that go far beyond our typical "dry season."

Except for the dryness, I'm enjoying this Texas spring. Cool, crisp mornings, warm afternoons, longer days. And now, with some of the spring time color starting to show itself, the view just gets better and better.

I love spring time; but, like many others, often fall victim to spring fever. All that sunshine, all that color, all that promise of new things to come! It's enough to cause distraction in even the best of folks. When I start looking out my office window at all that sunshine, and all those people just walking around enjoying it, I have a real problem maintaining focus on anything for more than a short while.

Nature's confused, and I'm addled by spring. I suppose I'll get through it - I always manage somehow - but there are no guarantees!

It’s all just my opinion.

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