Obviously, the Ozarks has experienced some wacky weather this spring, and May has seen its share.
What with the off-and-on heat, cold and high winds, it has been pretty hard to know what to expect on a daily basis. But nestled between all the craziness have been a few examples of just how nice weather can be in these parts during May. Like last Saturday.
With the temperature in the 70s and the sun playing peek-a-boo with puffy clouds the presented no threat of precipitation, the day was of the variety when getting outside and doing stuff around the house and yard was almost an obligation. But a welcome obligation to be sure, as I’m not sure weather gets any better anywhere on Earth than it can and does in the Ozarks in the spring.
Minus the biting cold of winter, the oppressive heat and humidity of summer, or the destructive rains that cause “100-year floods” almost every year that damage roads and driveways, the conditions here can be downright perfect at times.
Such was the case last weekend.
My wife Wendy and I have been waiting patiently to put out our garden this year, believing there was wisdom in the waiting and knowing full well there would still plenty of growing season if we just hung in there. Last Saturday, I finally quit waiting and planted squash, cantaloupe, peas beans, tomatoes and banana peppers, hoping (and assuming) the last freeze has come and gone until October.
It felt so good to get down and dirty in the garden, and have to scrub dirt out from under my fingernails.
As I enjoyed what I was doing, I was surrounded by a scene that I couldn’t help but notice with a true feeling of satisfaction. There was bright green grass nicely filling in all the mowed lawn areas, creating an almost carpet-like covering all around the house and outbuildings.
There were a zillion irises blooming brilliantly in four different colors in numerous locations around the property.
Birds zipped around, a squirrel or two chattered and the cats lounged on the “catio” next to their shop building (basically, a concrete porch they’ve laid claim to).
Meanwhile, a silly donkey rolled around on his dirt bath in the corral, and two horses stood contently with their heads pointed downward and their jaws moving in tandem as they consumed their naturally provided cuisine.
It was like I was in a postcard photo.
That afternoon, a mother cow, her young son and two of his friends paid a visit, apparently having clandestinely exited their pasture to take advantage of the beauty and peace that had so made my day. They took turns lying down and munching lawn, and were obviously having a fine time as they hung out like a bunch of oversized dogs.
Never one to miss out on a chance to make new friends, our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Gertie (the Permapup), spent many moments hanging out with the visitors, showing them how to be a real dog. Finally, my friend who works the herd for the neighboring landowners stopped by and we guided the foursome back to where they came from – which impressively was about three-quarters of a mile away down the dirt road over a big hill.
After the sun went down, the same friend and I sat by a nice fire in the bigger of our two fire pits and took in the atmosphere of a perfect spring night. Several whippoorwills also enjoyed the situation, taking turns calling out in a seemingly choreographed song, their voices melodically ringing out across the forested ridges – one to the east, one to the south and one to the west.
To be sure, anyone who has lived in these parts for any length of time is aware of how true the old saying is, that “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a little while and it’ll change.” But one other thing is for sure, when it’s nice in the Ozarks, it’s really, really nice.
Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.