Yes, indeed Spring has sprung in in our little Himalayan valley.We had our 2 nights of light frost in January and then BOOM! It's been 75F/24C everyday since. Here's some pics of ethereal mildness for those of you suffering wintry doldrums in colder climes.
Wook at the witty bitty babies! Awwww! Flown freshly in from Singapore these youngsters are for sale at our local feed and seed shop. No fancy breeds here just whatever mixed lot Singapore sends in the box. In eight months you can have a chicken dinner or an omelet!
These old-fashioned petunias were the first to start blooming in my garden. I bought these as seedlings at our local nursery. The expensive seeds I planted last September rotted in the prolonged Monsoon rains. I'm not sure what color you'd call this nor what variety they are. Most of the flower seeds I see for sale here in Nepal are from China or Thailand and not very good quality.
Spikes of snapdragons in shades of sulfur yellow, snowy white, and hot pink are blooming along the driveway. Snapdragons have always been a favorite flower of mine. The Nepalis say they look like tigers not dragons. In India I've heard them called snake flowers and dog flowers too.
These are a dwarf variety of snapdragon. If you prefer your snapdragons in the form of an eight inch high indeterminate bush rather than elegant spires here it is! In the early 90's in western countries a trend for miniature flowering annuals began. I suppose it was part of the downsizing trend after the mega-sized 80's? Personally I don't think the dwarfed bush varieties show off the snaps well. But if you do decide to plant these dwarfs be assured you'll have them forever as they freely reseed. Rigorously deadhead these dwarf snaps and they'll keep re-blooming for about 3 months too.
As the weather warms tropical nasties like this leech abound also. Be sure to check your shoes for these freeloaders after gardening. If walking through a forested area these things will also drop from trees on you too. Don't let this leech's miniscule size fool you. This one inch leech can stretch to about 3 inches long and about the girth of your thumb when sated. Luckily it doesn't hurt when these bloodsuckers attach. It is gross though.
These are a famed local variety of beans from our region called Simi. They are a winter crop in our region's temperate valleys and a summer crop in higher altitude areas.
When fresh like this Simi beans cook tender in minutes. The green pods are eaten in a stir-fry dish too. When dried they turn a lightly freckled rose color and require presoaking and about 20 minutes of pressure cooking to achieve tenderness. They taste a lot like pinto beans when cooked and are a favorite local protein staple.
Just to show you what the different seasons are like the above photo is our road during Monsoon in August and the photo below was taken yesterday (late February). As you can see in the above photo the Monsoon season is lush, green, and muddy. Really, really muddy. Have a look at the blue roof in the upper center of the Monsoon photo and compare it with the dusty Winter version below.
Yep, it's dusty, dry, and parched here in the Winter. That fine silty dust covers just about everything on the Subcontinent from the Himalayas to the Indian ocean. Greenery for animal fodder gets scarce this time of year too. There is snow up in the mountains though that will be melting soon. Hail and thunderstorms will start in March and continue through April possibly destroying the garden.
I heard it's flooding and the snowpack is 175% in my native California, wowee! Californians better start building an ark.
How's it going in your neck of the woods?