By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Spring begins March 20, but Mother Nature has already gotten quite a bit of a head start on those famous showers which promise May flowers. Though I know it’s not true, with the thick grey clouds overhead casting gloomy shadows and cars still splashing through puddles on the road, it feels like it’s been raining every day since January.
While it would be easy to complain about the near-constant rain, it’s important to remember the Valley is still in a drought. Our two reservoirs, Falcon Lake and Lake Amistad, are still below their halfway points. Though the rains haven’t ended the drought and we should still take care to conserve water, one thing they have done is usher in early signs of spring.
Lawns across Port Isabel are dotted with bright spots of yellow and white from wild sunflowers and daisies. I’ve even spotted a few patches of fire wheels, otherwise known as Indian blanket flowers, with their characteristic vivid red petals tipped in gold the color of the morning sun.
The flowers aren’t the only signs of spring’s arrival, though. Walking about in the mist during the evenings, I’ve heard bullfrogs croaking their basso love songs and crickets drumming out their staccato beats. Oftentimes the raucous kis-ka-DEE call of great kiskadees does more to wake me up in the mornings than the mug of coffee in my hand.
Everything is so very much alive right now, so very vibrant and loud, both in sight and in sound. Even the air, when it’s not raining, is beginning to be perfumed with the scent of citrus flowers, and green grass and newness. It’s like Mother Nature is slowly waking from a prolonged nap and as she stretches her arms and yawns, new life sprouts forth.
But the green and growing things aren’t the only ones shaking off the cobwebs of sleep. We’re all subconsciously starting to take notice of the change in season, too. More and more motorcyclists are on the highways each weekend traveling in groups as they go for a cruise, as are increasing numbers of drivers of gorgeous classic cars. I’ve seen more than a few vintage Mustangs, a Chevelle and even a 1940s era Chevy business coupe. Fellow motorists, you’ll have to pardon me if I do a double take, I’m just admiring from afar.
All in all, even with the rain, I’m excited spring is finally here. I can’t wait ‘til the flower bloom really takes off. I’ll probably make a day trip to photograph some of our state’s abundant varieties of wildflowers. And now is also the perfect time to visit our municipal and state parks to see myriad bird species as they stop here for a respite from their migrations. The SPI Birding and Nature Center, as well as the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge both offer a variety of guided and independent exploration opportunities. So get up and go outside, Laguna Madre! It’s gorgeous out there! And be sure to visit us online at portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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