Monday, March 01, 2004

Spring is coming

It's a cloudy day. The weatherman said showers late in the afternoon, well, I guess 1:30 could be considered late as that is when the sprinkles started. But Vegas has less than six inches of rain a year, so with all of the rain this past week (almost an inch total) we are probably just getting past the rainy season. A lot of our rain comes during summer thunderstorms, when we can get two inches of water in fifteen minutes, producing the floods that we saw on TV last year.
This is our first winter in Las Vegas, so we did not know what to expect as far as weather. I've heard that the desert gets cold at night, and after being here can agree with that. This year the temperature did get down to 25F one night, around freezing quite a few nights. But during the day it is sunny and usually up around 50F. The sunshine makes it easier to put up with the cold. The local weather history says that LV has an average of 100 days of over 100F temperatures.
I lived in Rochester, New York for several years, and there the winters were really bad. It was down to 20F below zero a few times, but the lack of sun made it worse. A cloud cover came in around early November, and one year we didn't see the sun again until April. It was brighter at night when the street lights came on and were reflected in the clouds than in the daytime.
Anyway, on to the picture of the day. I was walking around our neighborhood yesterday and noticed a first sign of Spring.

One of the houses a few blocks away is built back from the street. The owner planted a small fruit orchard in the front yard, and there were some blooms on a few of the trees. I don't know if you can see the flowers in this photo, but when the trees are in full bloom I'll post some more pictures.
Our neighborhood is about three miles due west of the strip. We live on a corner, and can see the back of TI (formerly known as Treasure Island) straight down the side street. The area is zoned 'Rural Estates Residential - [2 units per acre] (RE)' which means that the smallest lot you can have is at least a half acre. The streets are wide, but only the center is paved. We can have horses, and some people still do - one large place nearby has a big area with several corrals and three horses.
We have a large peach tree in our back yard which last year was totally covered in pink blossoms. We saw it when we were house hunting. It was really impressive. We've also got a small almond which has white flowers and a large apple tree. They are all starting to flower out now. The weatherman says it will be up in the seventies by the end of the week, so they should start looking nice.

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