Spring has returned to the borderlands, our second time through. We're no longer surprised to feel the hot, strong winds in their hyper-allergenic glory, carrying bits of the northern Chihuahua desert to the sneezing, sniffling residents of Juarez and El Paso. Not so much fun for those of us with any type of allergy, but great if you're a cat who likes to bask in the not-yet-too-hot sunshine and feel the breeze in your fur as you prowl the garden. Sometimes the wind can get downright ridiculous, whistling and howling through window and door cracks to keep us awake at night, taking down tree limbs throughout the neighborhood. Other times it just rustles the palm fronds around our house and dries our laundry on the line in about ten minutes.
But spring also means longer days and more sunshine for the garden. Our dormant plants have burst back to life, naive of the scorching that their delicate leaves will have to endure in just two months. For now, however, my garden looks lovely. Yeah, the lawn is still a bit patchy 'round the edges because the sun doesn't quite reach all the corners yet, but with the rains of June - it'll be lush again. I'm so excited to see the rose bushes are flourishing and loaded with buds. Even the jasmine vine has gone wonkers setting new buds. Just take a look at it all:
|Star Jasmine vine with tons of little buds|
|Happy geranium that was inherited from friends leaving post|
|Cream rose edged in bright, dark pink|
|Count 'em seven white rose buds!|
Besides flora, we're also happy with the fauna this little yard has attracted. Hummingbirds last summer, doves year-round, and a darling bachelor cardinal all winter. Toby has taken umbrage with the doves who land in HIS yard, even when HE'S on patrol! He gets in the low, pounce-and-destroy position, ears flattened and tail twitching and, and... well, that's all. But trust me - he LOOKS really scary. Except to the doves who know better and are truly in no danger.
|"The menace, the silly fool! Who does this dove think she is? This is MY yard!"|
|Cat Napping: A still life|
We have a tradition of putting a toro pinata on the desk of the newest officer, and lately he's been quite actively bouncing from desk to desk. The new generation is starting to trickle in, and in the past two weeks we've welcomed four new officers already. But newcomers means that the veterans are moving out, and it's also the sad despedida (going away party) season, too. We send off our friends and colleagues, most likely to see them again at FSI or years down the road in some other post where we'll have to pause to remember exactly from where we knew them. It's nothing personal, more like a professionally-induced tic. When the new officers arrive, besides the typical getting-to-know-ya' questions, I generally ask them "Whose house did you get?", a little mnemonic for helping me keep straight who lives where. "Ahhh... you're in THAT house? Wow, you're going to have to live up to a long tradition of garden parties living there!" I warn them.
So that's the seasonal update. Soon we're off to our first vacation together since 2012 that involves an airplane. The Tabbies will be left in the care of our housekeeper's daily visits. But that's a story for another day, and it will be entitled, "Spanish 201: How to teach someone to pill a cat."