Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring fever?

Blueberry blooms ready to open

Since we enjoyed a few days of warmer temperatures around March 20, I had been eagerly getting active outside. But I also had little energy to blog or do anything else involving electronics. Was it spring fever?

After a search that landed at Wikipedia here, I concluded "spring fever" could mean renewed energy. Or, it could refer to a decrease in energy. Or even--blush, gasp--heightened sexual urges. But I think my  own fluctuating energy level was because Spring was being a bit flighty, not making up her mind.

Husband Walter and I celebrated sunshine and mild temperatures by planting tomato seedlings and prepping other garden spaces for additional veggie seeds and seedlings. 

Then Spring started fooling around. Temperatures dipped into the 30s, and Hubby scrambled to cover tomato plants for several nights.

The following Monday’s daytime temperatures were definitely not springlike but perfect for a fire in the fireplace, for cozy recuperation from a weekend’s travel and for catching up on my at-home stroke recovery exercises.

We also managed to squeeze in a walk on the bridge at the warmest time of the day. As we were on the return leg of our walk, though, the voracious gnats that are such a nuisance in our area joined us on our trek. I had erroneously assumed the bridge’s height accounted for gnat-free outings on previous bridge walks.

This time I was without the ball cap that I usually wear on walks, and the insects chowed down on my scalp and any uncovered skin. I use the plural, but it could have been a single gnat. 

One bite and I can feel gnat bites all over, whether I have been that thoroughly gnawed on or not. The power of suggestion is a mighty phenomenon. Perhaps Homeland Security should look into gnats as an anti-terrorism measure. 

Temperatures are gradually warming again, and skies have been gorgeous blue. Hubby and I braved the gnats several  days ago at the Gulf Island National Seashore's mainland Mississippi area. We had a pleasant walk then my spouse set up our Coleman stove on a picnic table and prepared coffee for him and hot tea for me. 

The gnats were swarming. But I was well covered, and Hubby handed me my secret weapon--a paper plate that I used to fan them away from my hair and face.

Blue sky and sunshine are spirit-lifters. 

My effort to keep the gnats away was a small price to pay for having a whole picnic area to ourselves with budding trees, a gentle breeze, the scent of new life and my best friend for company. 

Earlier this week, walking buddy Ann treated me to another bridge walk. I need to rebuild stamina after wintery weather had limited my walking excursions. I was hoping to make it to the 0.4 mile marker on the bridge before retracing our steps for a rest stop on the bench at the 0.3 marker. 

Instead, in the midst of our non-stop talking to catch up with each other, we noticed we had made it to the 0.6-mile marker. That meant an invigorating 1.2 miles roundtrip of walking, chatting and laughter. 

I mention the talking because earlier in my stroke recovery, trying to walk and talk or laugh at the same time made me lose my balance. Evidence of progress. Whoo hoo!  

Spring never lasts long here. Whether she has more surprises for us or not, these recent bright days have been mood elevators. 

Spring update. We started a trip to Mobile Wednesday in mild temperatures. When we headed back home from the University of Mobile, temperatures were above 80, and our van's AC was ailing. But since then it's back to chilly and wet.

Now if we could have a few sunny days to dry up the swamp that our backyard has become,I can get back out to grub around in our veggie patch. Playing in the dirt would help me store up some of that "feel good" exhilaration for rainy days ahead.

Our azaleas are now blooming after unusual winter (Photo from my 2013 files).


  1. Congrats on reaching that marker on the bridge. You must be very pleased despite the gnats. What pretty photos you posted.

  2. I am so happy you can walk AND talk now.. and gnats drive crazy. i have used many plates and folded newspapers and paper fans to fight them. they are a curse. the worst gnat invasion and the biggest ones we have ever seen, came to my mothers funeral. it was pouring rain and they were huge and nothing could keep them away. to this day when the gnats come out, bob will say do you remember those gnats at your mothers funeral? that was 25 years ago.

  3. I have never seen a blueberry bloom before, is it yours? Maybe you can also show me when it opens. I am SO glad for you, you are doing better than ever!!! You continue to be an inspiration for all of us.

  4. Like Ginny, I've never seen a blueberry bloom before. I love blogging because we see flora and fauna from all over the country and world that we never see in our own regions.

    You are making such great progress. I'm so glad you have your walking buddies. Now, if we can just keep those gnats away.

  5. Those blueberry blooms are fabulous. The fruit ain't so bad either. Gnats, Chiggers, Mosquitoes. That's summertime all over the place. Some wag said the mosquitoes in Alaska are so big they should make them the state bird.

  6. Those blueberry blooms are fabulous. The fruit ain't so bad either. Gnats, Chiggers, Mosquitoes. That's summertime all over the place. Some wag said the mosquitoes in Alaska are so big they should make them the state bird.

  7. That azalea is absolutely gorgeous...;)