Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Real Signs of Spring

I'm not the kind of guy that bellyaches about winter. It's winter; it's cold. End of story, get over yourself. Having said that, though, I'm always ready for spring when it finally arrives.

I never really thought spring had arrived when I celebrated the Ceremonial First Mowing of My Dirt a few weeks ago. I knew winter still had a little spit left in her, and she did. Not that temps dropped into freezing territory, but we did log more than a couple of nights in the high 30s after my premiere mowing.

Nope. A better tell is that my big azalea is in full bloom. This monster actually seemed to jump the gun this year, but maybe not. When shopping for homes several years ago, I saw my house for the first time in May – well after it bloomed. I'm not enough of a plant/bush/shrub expert to have been able to identify a non-blooming azalea as just that. I was shocked when the thing bloomed my first April in the house. My family had an azalea about the same size in our backyard in Louisville. I always wanted one again, but South Florida isn't really conducive to azaleas.

Since moving into my house, I've planted three more small azaleas next to the big one. The smaller ones bloom at different times from the big one and often from one another. It will be at least another week or two before another springs to life. By that time, the big one will be done and all the blooms gone. Timing is everything.

It may be a little difficult to see, but this is the hood of the Honda Ridgeline covered with pollen currently in my driveway.
The other giveaway that spring is finally here is that every exterior surface on my property is covered with a patina of yellow pollen – I mean every surface. Although the moderate temperatures should have every window in my house open, I keep the downstairs windows closed to keep the pollen out. If I didn't, my furniture, kitchen counters, coffee maker and everything else would be covered with this crap. It only lasts about 30 days, but is uber annoying for that month.

As part of my transitioning to “spring” mode, to my Beer Sunday ritual I'll add a couple of micro beers from my “ugly mug” sitting outside Blue Ridge Brewery.

As a sign of spring, sipping stouts at a Blue Ridge sidewalk table beats the snot out of dusting yellow pollen off my test cars.

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