Winter departs slowly in Iowa. This morning I awoke to a temperature of 28 degrees. While this may sound like huddle back under the covers and stay in bed weather, it's not. After months of zero and subzero temperatures, 28 with the sun radiating through the windows is quite pleasant. This afternoon the mercury will rise to a balmy 55 degrees. I can head out and mow the sprouting grass.
While I tootle around on the lawn mower, I can appreciate the beauty of the perennials poking through the winter brown dirt gracing it with color. Green leaves are everywhere. Peonies are popping through with purple stems standing tall and proud. Tulips are exploding with vibrant yellows, pinks, and red. God, our painter, is using colors again!
Spring also brings visitors. Peeking out from under one of our small sheds I spied a black nose. Shortly a brown furry body followed it. Willie, the groundhog had awakened and stopped by for a visit. He practiced his yoga, standing tall and stretching down. The sun warmed him as he stretched out basking in its warmth. Evening approached and I had to be the bearer of bad news to Willie.
"Willie," I hollered into his hole under the shed. "You can't visit too much longer. Doug will come home. He says you are a menace. He is going to find you someplace else to live. If you want to choose your own summer home you need to skedaddle."
I haven't seen Willie since.
There was a furry mass in our hundred plus maple tree. Creeping outside, I wondered if bears had started to inhabit Iowa. It was then I spied the black mask on the creature. It was Raul, the raccoon. Raul caught sight of me and meticulously crawled his way up a branch. He eventually nestled into a hole in the branch. (A hollow branch strategically waiting a time when Doug is abroad to crash to the ground, leaving me to figure out how to clean it up.) Raul peeked out at me. He was too cute!
I explained to Raul that Doug said he could stay as long as he didn't get into any of our outbuildings.
Later, I peered into our hen house and saw signs of Raul visiting. While there are actually no hens in the hen house, it is home to numerous boards and junk. It appeared Raul had been in there flinging boards and making a general mess of it.
Raul has moved to another hollow tree between two other sheds. (This tree is also biding time for Doug to leave and crash to the ground.) I supposed he thought he could divert my attention from the untidy hen house if he lived away from it.
Really Raul? Doug will notice within being home eight minutes that something is amiss.
Spring also brings babies. They are the cutest babies ever! Every spring one appears from under my potting shed. He hippety-hops around munching on grass and tulips. Subconsciously I planted a few tulips close to the potting shed so the baby could have dessert. Baby bunny enjoys sunning himself in the cool grass by the shed.
Unfortunately I am not the only one enjoying watching baby bunny. Snuggles has discovered baby bunny relaxing in the grass. I warned her to stay away from "my" baby bunny.
Then tragedy hit. I discovered Snuggles in the driveway with baby bunny's ear in her mouth!
I dashed outside in my stocking feet scolding Snuggles at the top of my lungs. "Put baby bunny down. Now!"
Baby bunny was doing the twist trying desperately to remove his ear from Snuggles teeth. I nabbed Snuggles by her scruff setting baby bunny free. He was so disoriented he hopped in circles before darting across the yard and flying under the potting shed to safety.
Snuggles is now in spring time out in the garage. She can have recess again when baby bunny is mature.
That's spring in Iowa. I am going to head outside and take in the sights and smells of the season. Birds singing in harmony. Crisp air scented with lilac. Apple trees with thousands of pink buds swaying in the breeze. Along the way I may see a critter or two. I might have to take a few hundred more pictures of baby bunny. And I will remember to wave at Snuggles as she gives me the evil eye from her perch in the garage window!