Colors Of April Bloom With Spirit Of Summer, Drought

Western Ag Vignettes

April showers bring May flowers – and drought relief?

Published on: April 2, 2013

Daffodils and tulips are creating a rainbow glow of spring and I sense that summer is yearning to bud out.

I'm ready. Never a short days and dark season fan, I long for the 9:30 p.m. sunsets of the Pacific Northwest when you can go on long one-day drives to the ocean or mountains and return still in the light.

There's a farmer in my soul that likes the season of the sun. Actually, I haven't met many winter folks who like to be cloistered in their warm homes while the wind rattles the windows and snow fills the landscape.

Of course, many of our readers in the far norths of Montana and Wyoming have come to accept the restrictions and labor hardships of the "ber" months (September, October, November, December.)  More like the "burrrrr" months.

I know January and February and even March are wintry as well, but they just don't fit my nifty little "bur" classification at all, so ignore that.

So here comes the nice time of year. Welcome Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day when picnics and camping and boating are again in my plans.

Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas as well, but never understood why all those decorations, cards and gifts depict a cold time of year. After all, Christmas is also celebrated in Hawaii and Africa and Brazil where snow and ice are alien.

I think our Christmas decorations concept came from the colder parts of Europe and the eastern U.S., where blizzards are part of the deal. We can blame Dickens, too, for the sleigh pulled by eight denizens of the north.

When I lived in Michigan, snow for Christmas was merged as tightly in our minds as Kris and Kringle, but I no longer need all that white – I shoveled tons in my time there – to make Christmas jolly and merry.

It was nice to get a light Christmas snow in western Washington a few years ago, however, for my wife's first white Christmas. She lived in Vegas for a long time and snow there is as rare as winning in the casino.

Seasons do make our lives more fun, however, even if they wane into the clouds of autumn and the storms of Old Man Winter. Leaves change colors, trees become bare, and a chill lurks in the night as barbecues are stored away and firewood is gathered while trekking on crispy, crunchy forest floors.

It is the spring and the summer and the early autumn that are the gentler labor times for the weather, but as drought threatens to recur this year in so much of the West, there is a threat with the treat which we must confront.

My heart goes out to those wondering where their August water will be found this year as last, and who struggle with the labor of thirsty cattle and crops from the lingering drought. Such are the abominations of the hot days we will soon experience.

Not all in the summer is a delight after all, I realize. As I enjoy the waters of the Pacific Northwest summer, I think constantly of my friends far from the Columbia River who could use some of her mighty waters.