Slim Randles on Spring

Since the beauty of Spring is popping up all over, making me smile a lot, I thought it a good time to have Slim Randles share his ode to Spring. Not that he calls it that, as you’ll discover when you read on, but it is a heartfelt tribute to this birth of new life that has such an emotional impact on us when we stop to marvel at a new wildflower.

This blanket of wild grape hyacinths was in a field near my house a few weeks ago. They’re one of the first wildflowers to appear in Spring.

Now here’s Slim:

Spring mornings are a lot like Christmas. Each day we get up and go out into the yard, or walk along the creek or visit the horses in the pasture. And each day, each morning, we find something new the sun has brought us.

Pinfeather leaves of an unbelievable green now start showing on cottonwoods that have stood like stark ghostly frames all through the cold winter. Hopeful blades of grass peek through clumps of brown left over from last summer’s verdant pasture. Everywhere we look there is something new and different.

A lot of this Christmas-in-spring feeling is kept just among us, because we might be accused of being … well … poetic if we told people why we were really carrying that coffee cup out into the yard. So we say lame things like, “I think I’ll get some of that fresh air this morning.” What we really mean, of course, is, “I want to see if Richardson’s bay mare has had that foal yet.”

Some of us worked very hard last fall and winter to prepare for this spring. By grafting. OK, we have a Granny Smith apple tree. Let’s see if we can’t get a branch of Rome Beauties or Jonagolds to grow on it, too. And we understand completely that where we live no olive tree can survive the winter. That isn’t supposed to stop us from trying, is it?

Nature pitches us a boatload of challenges each day that we’re alive. This plant needs more water than falls naturally here. That tree can’t take the temperatures we get. This little tree needs soil with more organic matter in it.

And those challenges are the stuff winter dreams are made of. We do the best we can to cure the lack, the freeze, the drought, and then we wait for April. We wait impatiently until we can come out of the house some morning and check the grafts on the apple tree and see tiny green leaves coming on the grafted branch. We search the bare ground where we planted that new kind of seed that won’t grow here – to see if it’ll grow here.

It is a continuing feast of green, a triumph of anticipation. An April morning can make us want to sing.


Your cat won’t eat anything? Singing might help. Maybe you could use free lessons.


Banner with Home Country written on it. Old red pickup on the left and headshot of Slim Randles on the right. He's smiling and wearing a white cowboy hat.

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.


That’s all for today, folks. Been a rough day for me pain-wise, so I need to be off the computer. Hope this is the start of a good week for everyone.

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