Spring Storms, Shirking Work

From a couple of years ago. Not much has changed!
Enjoy this archive post … and your spring-y days.

Dressed In White, Nowhere To Go

It is so very hard to concentrate on ‘meaningful’ stuff these days, in that, I mean the dirty four letter word: work. We are all affected by it, Mom, Dad and kids. I don’t even want to blog about it, because it means more time indoors. I just want to be out in it.

These are the precious days of spring on the Gulf Coast, when the temperature is not yet in the unbearable range and the mosquitoes aren’t trying to take flight with us still attached to their faces. Here it is, end of April already, still sleeping with the windows open at night, hardly running A/C at all. Unprecedented. Not only does it mean the electric bill stays below $100 for another month, but being indoors just plain sucks.

Gotta get outside.

Next month, it’s all over. Summer will be here even before it is scheduled to arrive, and He won’t pack His bags and leave until sometime at the end of October. Those hot months are why we get the garden planted by the end of March, if possible. Thanks to the rain, it’s looking good.

There are three 16-sq-ft spaces already planted, and another three ready to plant, as well as the keyhole which will get topped up with some green-and-brown this week an additional 25-sq-ft. Mostly tubers (radish, beets, turnips) and additional greens (lettuces) are what remain to be planted. Here’s the garden as is:

  • Peach (3), Plum (4), Fig (8) and Pear (4) all set to fruit
  • Blueberries (out of frame)
  • Tomato, Roma (2), Cherry (2), and two unknown ‘volunteer’ variety
  • Cucumber (8) and unknown ‘volunteer’ gourd or squash
  • Eggplant (2)
  • Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Parsley and Dill
  • Bell Pepper (8) and Jalapeño (6)

We’ve had several storms hit our area, and the fruit trees are loving it. Judging from the standing water in the front ditch, the water table is a few feet high. We have never seen the creek so high in the decade we’ve lived here, including the days following Hurricane Ike in 2008.

While in February, there were the pinks, and March followed with yellow, these days, our property is awash in brilliant whites, with the fifteen (yes, 15!) white Crepe Myrtles a month off. The debris of spent blossoms along the driveway looks a lot like snow.

Pink Jasmine

I have no idea what this flower is.

Again, no clue.

But it’s so very fragrant!

The Ligustrum ‘shrubs’ that line the driveway
are heavy with blossoms.

And finally…BEES!!

Have I said how much I love spring yet?

On-Line School Benefit

This week is the second and final round of state testing for the year:  STAAR. Because we’re public school — not a traditional home school like many others — we are required to test like everyone else in the public school system. No biggie, I say, as do the kids.

Everyone worked very hard up to last week, getting ready, practicing strategies for math/science, and basically getting comfortable and prepared to take a 4-hour test in a strange environment with a bunch of people they don’t know. They are all going to do great, I’m certain. Taking a few days off to relax after all of that seems justified. Putting lessons off another week isn’t going to hurt anything.

Off to Galveston once again. Kids do love the beach.

Kids find the sand dunes

What’s a beach day without chasing
gulls and skimmers?

Mom and Dad did a little birding, ’cause we can. We added several new ones to our list for the day putting us over 180 lickety-split:

Black Skimmer

Black Skimmer

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

American Avocet

American Avocet

Sandwich Tern Pair

Sandwich Tern, courting his Lady Friend
with a tasty fish

Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret – a lifer for me!

All in a row, San Luis Pass, Galveston in April.

Sanderling, all in a row

Royal Tern

Royal Tern

Laughing Gull Pair

Geez, you two! Get a room.
Laughing Gulls (she doesn’t appear to be)

Birding Hot Spots in Galveston

Thanks another blogger lighting the fire for us (thanks, Paul!), we spent some time at two birding hot spots: LaFitte’s Cove and (new!) Corps Woods. It is located near the ferry crossing just outside the entrance to the US Coast Guard.

Both places were brimming with bird activity, but the best sighting of the day had to be the Painted Bunting. We saw it several times, but I had to chase an Indigo Bunting flock around the outside of the space in order to get a shot of him.  So glad I did!

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting, peeking at me

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Great-tailed Grackle

Mr. Cheeto Face (thanks to Ginny)

We also added to our list these species from both places:

19 thoughts on “Spring Storms, Shirking Work

    1. We strive to stay outside! Inside only as we must. At the moment, it’s raining, so perfect for a quick movie catch-up (and family snuggles). Here’s to more of this El Niño weather.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Melissa. I wish I had a horticulturist to concur! It looks so much like one, I’m inclined to agree with both you and Steve. Looking for one in a nursery, then I’ll know for sure. Thanks for commenting. 😀


  1. The unknown flowers look a lot like what we call Mock Orange here. White flowers with yellow inside, smell so sweet, leaves are similar. Mine won’t bloom for about a month but I’ll send some pics when they do.


    1. Hi Steve! Yes, thanks again for reminding me of this ID, which you also recommended some years ago. It MAY be a mock orange, but I’ve had three botanists (and one arborist) tell me that it wasn’t. When I see a mock orange in a nursery for myself, I will feel more definitive. Until then, ‘Mystery Bush’ is it. Cheers, Cuz. Thanks for coming by. 😀


  2. Your idea of shirking work sounds like delightful time management. I wish the family a beautiful season. And golly molly Shannon, I just love the wet mud out of your photograph captions.


    1. ‘Houseworkitis.’ I get it all the time. Nice to know there is a name for he condition. There is absolutely nothing ‘lovely’ about my garden. It’s all function! Like a good pair of comfy shoes. Cheers, Jess.


    1. Thanks, Paul. It’s been a great month all around. I may have to trade fall in for spring as my favorite season.

      PS More Galveston birding today. I can’t believe we are over 200 so far! 204 (on 4-20) to be exact. Shore birds and warblers were quite cooperative.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you know all the birds and have no clue about the stunning flowers! That is kind of how I am with my flowers…”Oooooh, those are pretty! I am going to plant them!!” Next spring…”What the heck are these?”!!! If I can’t eat them, I am not so good at naming them 🙂
    Best of luck to your kids on their tests!


    1. Haha! I never thought of it that way! I love flowers of all kinds, but I’ve never considered myself a ‘flower girl.’ I’m a dirt girl, through and through. 😀

      Thanks for the well-wishes. And the lovely comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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