Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New growth

Living in South Florida certainly has it's perks.  While many of our northern family and friends have struggled through a record setting winter, winter in South Florida tends to be pretty consistent.  It's warm and sunny and fairly dry.  In fact, our winter has been much warmer than usual (not to brag) and we're running our air conditioning at a time when most people are running their heat.

Someone told me the other day that they really missed living where there are seasons and I thought that was sort of funny because we DO have seasons in South Florida, but they are more subtle than seasons in more northern climates.  We don't get dramatic leaf turning displays or snow storms, but I always notice spring in South Florida, maybe even more than some of our other seasons.  Suddenly, the days are longer.  It's not dark at 5 any more, now it's still light at 6:30.  The mockingbirds are out and reminding everyone that they are here and why don't we notice them?  The cardinals are also here, building nests and looking so gorgeous it's hard not to just stop and gape at them.  The male cardinals also have such a distinctive call and they have been very busy letting the females know that they are around.  When we had cats (before we found out we were allergic), February always brought an onslaught of fleas (I really DON'T miss that).  This year, since we've renovated our yard, we also have new growth on plants I never had before- an avocado tree and an orange tree.
Here's the avocado tree.  All that light green part is new growth and blossoms.  Good thing we like guacamole!
My orange tree (with the amaryllis in the back, looking amazing) has a new baby orange on it as well as a bunch of flowers!  I love the fragrance of orange blossom.

I was thinking about new growth and my students.  We have been working on a research project about the Winter Olympics and I'm REALLY tired of the Winter Olympics (having been talking about the Winter Olympics for the last 2 months).  However, the new growth I've seen in my students is much like the new growth I'm seeing in the yard.  The kids who before were too shy to stand up in front of the class to tell about their research have found the confidence to speak out.  The little kids who have been reading picture books are suddenly demanding chapter  books.  The littlest kids are reading ahead of me or correcting me if I miss a word in our read aloud.  

So spring is awesome!  New growth all around, especially if you take time to notice!

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