Welcome to Nevada!
I’m often asked by friends, family and acquaintances who have never visited our stunningly beautiful and diverse state if we have the standard four seasons. “Yes,” I assure them, “we do…..usually within the same day.” Last week, the final week of winter, the temps approached 70 degrees; two days later, the official start of Spring, we were firing up the wood stove again.
In the past year, I have traded “California dreamin’,” (in reality, more like “Nightmare on Elm Street!), for a new life in Nevada, where, in retrospect, I should have remained 37 years ago. Seeing as how the “trading places” involves a move of only about 35 miles, the weather patterns haven’t altered all that much from state to state. The mountains surrounding my new home of Smith Valley do nothing to stop those hurricane zephyrs that flatten trees, flip 18 wheelers and cause migrating birds to cancel their flight plans. It may pour sunshine one day, then send us scurrying to frantically retrieve our snow boots that we slung so unceremoniously, and quite happily, into the depths of basements and closets just hours previously.
Some other signs of a Nevada spring, regardless of the weather conditions, are immutable; the robins dancing around on my lawn, eagerly awaiting the birth of all the fruit they will gobble from my recently acquired cherry trees; the somnolent humming of bees in the newly flowered apricot and plum blossoms, (which, in all likelihood, will be devoured next week by the biggest blizzard of the decade! Ahhh, Nevada!); new babies of the four footed persuasion are appearing in the pastures, corrals and sheds at an ever increasing rate. With regards to the care of livestock, the only change has been in the species that I care for……ovine instead of bovine. I am still, however, “milk wagon” for the abandoned and orphaned, only now my “parfum de jour” is lanolin and sheep poop, not molasses and calf scours. Never having been a “fashion plate,” even during the heady days of youth, my attire of choice hasn’t changed, either. No matter the weather, I am attired in jeans, tee- or sweatshirt and boots, all of which, as usual, are festooned with hay and straw, sprinkled with dust and chaff, liberally laced with an assortment of fur, hair and wool.
Today, as it turns out, was a beautiful Nevada spring day. Anticipating that this will not be the case in probably another 72 hours, or so, I enjoyed it immensely by walking, then going to groom three heavily shedding horses, so one must disregard my newly acquired nose hairs.
As ever, from California to Nevada, the surest sign of Spring in this part of the country is the arrival of those buzzards!! Yep…..they’re baaaaaaaaaaack! We may be under four feet of snow in two days, but if those buzzards are sitting in the trees, then , it’s definitely springtime in Nevada, no matter what the weatherman says!!!! Welcome to Nevada….I know I’m happy to be here!!!