It is cold (40°F) this morning, and there's a thick fog. Everything outside is wet, and tiny droplets fill the air. When you breathe in, water condenses on your nostrils.
This is sheer heaven for the three field spaniels. They were nose down, snuffling at warp speed, for the entire walk. There was some evidence of turkeys visiting our yard down by the gate; that got very special attention. About half-way up our driveway, a few feet into the lawn (we have grass!), there was a spot that also got lots of attention, though I couldn't tell why. Three brown stubs of tails were wagging like mad for our entire walk.
The border collie just couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. So far as he is concerned, fog just gets in the way of spotting pine cones that have been kicked. You could almost hear him say “What is all this yucky stuff, anyway?” The enhanced ability to smell means nothing to him. The pine cone is everything. Everything.
Our walk yesterday afternoon was completely different. Wall-to-wall blue sky, warm sunshine. Birds fluttering and chirping all around us, including bluebirds and hooded orioles. The hummingbirds are not back in force yet; only a few so far. We also heard ground squirrels (they have a short, high-pitched whistle) all around us. Their population is way up, presumably due to the rich vegetation we have this year. We heard quail off to the west, but close – in our yard. Time to start putting out the corn!
The ceanothus are all in bloom in our yard, as are our two wisterias. The acacia, walnuts, and liquid amber trees are all starting to leaf. The eucalyptus all have a very strong, red new growth. Our pines have “candlesticks” of new growth over a foot long. Many of our manzanitas have a couple inches of new growth (spectacular for them!), including our largest specimen in the back yard (it's now over 30’ tall).
Spring has sprung!