We’ve been having a great spring for the past many weeks and David and I have been saying we needed to put out our hummingbird feeder. (Even though the offical “last frost” date is not until mid-May, any sort of hard freeze has seemed unlikely for the past month or two, so we felt pretty safe.) But, being the busy procrastinators that we are, we hadn’t done it yet.
Until yesterday, when we were sitting at the dining table, eating breakfast. A lone hummingbird came right up to the slider and hovered there, right where the feeder should have been, and stared in at us. There was zero question in our minds that he was inquiring — and was a bit put out to have to be asking! — where his food was. We promptly mixed up some nectar and put the feeder out. There are now two, the early scouts we presume. By summer there will be as many as seven or eight. They’ll eat a vast quantity of sugar over the next five months, but I can’t bring myself to cut it out of the budget. They’re just too special and — clearly! — they’ve come to count on the Brink Restaurant. We keep a dining bar right next to them on the deck where we usually eat breakfast and lunch all summer long and they’re not shy of us at all — in fact they’ll whiz so close to your face you can feel their wings. It’s pretty amazing, and all for the price of a little (well, a lot) of sugar!
After another very easy winter (okay, partially made easy by the generous and repeated loan from our neighbors of their snow blower), we’ve had a spectacular spring. There’s been a good bit more rain than usual, but living in the desert, we won’t complain. Especially since this year we haven’t opened up our sprinkler system, hoping for a new one this season. So every day of rain is several more days we can go without having to turn on the auxiliary water and break out the hoses and sprinklers.
We’ve also had a number of hail storms, including one just the other day that covered the deck with thumbnail-sized balls of hail. One storm came down so fast and furiously that it completely whitened the front yard, just as though it had snowed. Grateful that that’s about the worst of our bad weather here — very little to fear from tornado action, wildfires are a risk but we’ve been lucky (a fact we’re especially grateful for as we watch the devastation in Alberta, Canada going on right now), and only very mild earthquake action. We get some wind now and then which the locals complain about, but having experienced six “windy seasons” in Costa Rica, we hardly even notice.
Spring also brings our now “regular” (having done it two years in a row) spring camping trip with the kids, last year to Moab, this year to Goblin Valley area. We’ve developed quite the tent complex, with a large “instant” tent for sleeping, another off to the side for a potty, and still another large screen house for kitchen/dining. It was great fun to watch the kids all play together — delighted to be scrabbling around in the sand, climbing the nearby rocks, hiking, and just being outdoors. We old folks took it pretty easy, although we were able to take advantage of now having a 4-wheel-drive SUV and could participate in a great off-road drive in convoy with the others to see some wild and fascinating terrain.
Spring also brings Avila’s ballet recital. The ballet this year was “Americana” and she was a prancing pony. It was great fun, as always, and the show was impressive, as always. Avila’s other grandma (Nana) Kate is co-owner of the ballet studio and they do an amazing job with several hundred children each year. At only 5, this is Avila’s third year on-stage, and she clearly loves it. We saw a lot of improvement in her skill-level this year, too. Of course, the dances that always bring down the house are the youngest kids — the class she was in two years ago. They’re all fun to watch!
At seventeen months, Henry continues to grow and change. He’s gone from walking to running and it looks like he may follow in Avila’s footsteps and run everywhere. New words are starting to pop up regularly and he’s developing a rather definite mind of his own. He adores his Poppy (as does Avila) which is a great help on the days we take care of the kids — I often can get in some good work time while they play with Poppy. The biggest downside of this is the sheer havoc they wreak on the house. Avila is better (with some guidance) about picking up after herself, but Henry’s still in the destruction phase. Ah well, if that’s the worst life is throwing at us, then we’re pretty blessed!
We did have one bit of sadness this spring, as many of you know, when we finally lost GrisGris. He was a fiercely loyal dog and is deeply missed. Avila helped Poppy mark his grave, and still offers up a toast to him every so often with her milk glass at lunch. For her first real introduction to death, she got a real dose of it since her Nana lost her beloved dog Riley as well, right around the same time. But Nana has a new puppy, Molly, just this past week, and we’ll be adding a couple of kittens to our household during this next month, so the circle of life goes on.
What’s going on in your world this spring?