GratiTuesday: Spring’s Gifts

At exactly 9:15 (Pacific Time) this morning, winter became spring. Today – the vernal equinox – the sun crosses directly over the earth’s equator, making night and day approximately of equal lengths all over the world.

We switched our clocks to Daylight Saving Time a little over a week ago (I know that some people hate DST, but it makes me happy) and now, as the periods of daylight grow longer each day, I am grateful for the extra rays of sunshine that we will enjoy.

The orioles, who often nest in our neighborhood’s palm trees, are a delight to watch.

The hooded orioles have started to arrive after being away for the winter enjoying the serene climate of Southern Baja and mainland Mexico. I am grateful for their beauty and for the backyard entertainment they provide with their comical antics and happy chatter.

Bees have been busy pollinating the trees and making orange blossom honey.

After producing a tree full of tasty fruit during the winter months, our orange tree now is bursting with fragrant white blossoms. I am grateful not only for the blossoms’ heady fragrance that perfumes our yard but also for the promise of a new crop of oranges next fall and winter.

Although there might not be obvious indicators of the four seasons where I live, there are subtle changes that are noticeable for those who look for them. I am grateful for all the gifts of spring I see, and for those that nature still has in store.

The jacarandas will burst forth with their purple blossoms a little later in the spring.

Author: Janis @

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

69 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: Spring’s Gifts”

  1. Here when the snow begins to melt, it is the first sign of spring. It must be wonderful to live in the land of eternal spring, summer and fall. Your lovely photos prove it!

  2. Beautiful photos, Janis! I love the signs of spring, too – Lots of sunshine where I live, landscapers are getting busy, the trees start showing buds, the birds sing their songs and ducks swim leisurely in the lake.

  3. What a brilliant reminder that Spring has arrived (or is coming soon to more Northern neighbors)! Beautiful photos!

  4. Temperatures were below normal for our first day of spring, but the sun was shining and it’s hard not to feel happy 🙂
    I learned something new – I didn’t know that oranges were a winter crop and then the trees rebloomed in the spring. I have no idea what the orange blossoms smell like, but I imagine the fragrance must be welcomed every spring!

    1. I remember getting a beautiful big orange in the toe of my Christmas stocking every year, but I didn’t put two-and-two together either until I had my own orange tree. The fragrance is amazing and it’s used in perfume making (also as an aphrodisiac, apparently :).

    1. When I was young, summer was my favorite (probably because we were out of school and spent most of our leisure time at the beach), but now spring and fall are definitely my favorites (I can have two favorites, right?).

  5. I am sooooo green with envy as I try to soak in your gorgeous photos. Hmmmm, why is that! Oh! Maybe because we’re gearing up for our fourth nor’easter!! Lol.

    Clearly no signs of spring here, but seeing your photos tells me it’s on its way. The jacaranda tree is breathtaking. And the Oriole is just perfect.

    Hope your area gets some needed rain soon. I would gladly share our snow with you!

    1. We are getting a little bit of rain today – I hear that most of it is falling up north. I’m sorry that you keep getting those dang nor’easters, but spring will come, I promise. I’d love to share some snow, as long as it can be warmed up before getting here 🙂

    1. I hope you get to see one – they are amazing. They are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Mexico, Central America, Argentina, South America, Cuba, Florida, Jamaica, and the Bahamas (and can been seen here in Southern California)… so you have a lot of choices of places to go!

        1. I’m in San Diego and we have them here… probably Orange County and Los Angelos too. I’m not sure when they will bloom this year because we haven’t had much rain and the temps have been back-and-forth warm and cold. I think they usually start to bloom in late spring so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a spectacular show!

  6. Looks beautiful there. Our spring gift was another round of snow. I like snow, but I prefer it to come in December or January. At least we know it won’t be around long. Enjoy those daylight hours!

  7. Nothing like those beautiful spring blossoms and the return of birds. Not so in NE Alberta. But there are definitely signs of spring – milder temps hovering around 32F; wet snow storms; melting snow; return of the snowbirds from warmer climates; more daylight hours; garden seeds and spring bulbs are showing up in the stores. Yes, we will make it through another winter.

  8. Your photos are delightful. Nothing at all like what I’m seeing around here, so thanks for the spring spoilers. Nice to know that there’s color somewhere.

  9. Janis – don’t you love the orioles? Such surprising beauty and speed. As it rains and rains here today, I am hoping the citrus buds stay on the tree. Enjoy the new springtime – Susan

  10. I’m with you, Janis. I LOVE daylight savings time, as it feels like unwrapping a gift and finding that spring has arrived. Longer days, things starting to bloom…your photos are lovely! ~ Lynn

    1. That’s exactly what it feels like! I used to think that EVERYONE loved Daylight Saving Time for the same reasons I did. I have been surprised to read not just a few blogs and articles written by those who really dislike it.

  11. I’m looking forward to spring. I spent hours past 2 weeks reviewing my perennial plant book…our new home has a pretty blank-slate garden area. I just ordered mulch for new planting beds and needed low-maintenance ideas. Of course, I am also looking out at snow coming down and it was 30 degrees this morning. Mother Nature obviously didn’t look at the calendar! So it’s all ideas on paper for awhile yet; planting new things outdoors here is usually OK after May 1, but I’m eager!

    1. It sounds like you have some great plans! So far my gardening has consisted of pulling weeds that have popped up since our recent rains. I’m looking forward to planting tomatoes soon. It’s hard to believe that you still have snow falling… yikes!

  12. Spring hasn’t quite sprung here yet, but your lovely pictures are helping. Especially the last one. Our clocks go forward this coming weekend – must remember!

  13. I am ALWAYS grateful for spring (even the 2 weeks of allergies I get with the mulberry tree pollen). Your photos are so colorful and I love watching the birds come back and begin nesting. Today, even with all the rain we are getting, I can hear the birds singing! Love that jacaranda tree, we saw them in their full glory last June!

  14. I like DST too for the same reasons. I’m sure there are reasons why certain states and even cities don’t adopt it, but I love summer’s later days. I guess we’re all just kids at heart. Beautiful pictures, Janis. – Marty

  15. Just recently we identified the oriole in the rice paddy near our home and we have been enjoying watching them. Such a bright spot of color. I love jacaranda trees, we grew up with them, in South Africa. A sure sign of Spring, which is my favorite season and one that I miss living in a tropical climate.


    1. We don’t typically have colorful birds around here – even the jays are a little on the dull side of blue. The orioles are so bright and active and so different from our year-round birds (they probably make the other birds jealous). Our jacarandas don’t bloom until a little later in the spring but, when they do, it seems like they all burst forth at once.

  16. I love the signs of spring arriving. For us here on the Canadian west coast, we know it is spring when the crocuses bloom and the robins come back (which happened a few weeks ago).


  17. I’m happy to read spring has sprung in San Diego, Janis. Here in Albuquerque, we are a bit behind. In town, some of the trees are blooming colorfully, but in the yard (we are on the mesa, so a bit higher up), I have counted exactly four blossoms! But, spring is in the air and the days are getting warmer. Just when the forecast shows 70s every day, later this week, we are heading up to Santa Fe, and starting all over. Enjoy the oranges this summer!

    1. Santa Fe should be warmer, right? I’m looking forward to reading about your adventures there. If I remember correctly, this next sit doesn’t involve an animal so maybe you’ll have more flexibility to explore the area.

      1. It’s actually colder up there, Janis, since it is another 2000ft higher. 😦 And, yes you remember right: no pets this next two-month sit, so we can drive south to warm up in the weekends. 🙂 We are hoping to go away again once in a while, which has been impossible the last weeks.

    1. It’s funny how it’s all topsy-turvy weather-wise, right? I’ve been reading a few novels set in Australia recently, and I have to keep adjusting my perceptions. Enjoy your autumn… I love that time of year also.

  18. Hi Janis! I love your photos especially the Jacarandas which we have near our home. They are glorious but last year they bloomed so early we didn’t get to enjoy them as much. We are heading into Autumn here in Brisbane, Australia however it is mild with sunny days and blues skies. Enjoy your Spring time! It is great to find your blog and I’ve signed up to follow you.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    1. Hi Sue! Autumn is my second favorite season (especially when it’s still warm and sunny)! We are still waiting for our Jacaranda trees to put on their show this year, but I hope it will be soon. Thank you for your comment and the follow. I’ve been enjoying your blog!

  19. Your spring is way ahead of ours. Love your images. I’m one who hates DST. Makes no sense to me. It doesn’t save any daylight at all, just makes nights come quicker. :-0

    1. I’m sorry you dislike DST. I know it can really mess with some people’s inner clocks. It doesn’t “save” daylight, but it moves the daylight towards the later hours where (to me) it’s more useful. I’m not sure how it “makes nights come quicker.”

      1. All I know is that when we go on regular time in the spring, I wake up in the dark for a month and I revel in the added hour of daylight at the end of the day. That is the same pattern I would like all year long. Maybe I have DLS time mixed up with regular time. lol

        1. Yep! Daylight Saving Time is “time as adjusted to achieve longer evening daylight, especially in summer, by setting the clocks an hour ahead of the standard time.” Good to know that you are a fan too! 🙂

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