The month of February is winding down, with an extra day added for the leap year. In many places in the US, winter still has a hold, with snowy weather, freezing temperatures and few or no signs of spring.

Butterfly with wings spread, perched on tree branch

Meanwhile, in southern California, we are fortunate to see signs of spring popping up. Within the last week, wild flowers are blooming, with yellow daisies along our walking trail, underneath trees  that are starting to bud. Animals are more active as they look for mates and the hummingbirds are busy defending their territory from all who might invade. I also saw bees out gathering honey on the new yellow, purple and white wild flower blossoms.

Closeup of tree, with bark peeling off

With a somewhat rainy winter, and just the right amount of blue skies, our hills are green with new grass and native plants . I’ve started to think about gardening, especially ground cover for around our house. We get a lot of dust and I think more plants might help to reduce the dust in warmer weather.  However, I will probably need to add something to the soil to encourage new plant growth. While our location in an old granite quarry is good for less damage from earthquakes it’s not so wonderful for gardening. I did plant some rosemary last year and the small plants have grown over the winter

San Diego YMCA Building

There are still special days, such as Ash Wednesday and Leap Day.  For those born on February 29th, they will have an opportunity to celebrate their birthday on the actual day this year. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the spring growth and weather as we start to move to warmer days and nights. A good time of year, not too hot or cold, not too rainy or sunny, a just right kind of weather.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster, prints of his photos can be purchased at