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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: April flowers, English cocker spaniels and terrapins

By John Hall/Missourian Reader
April 5, 2012 | 5:53 a.m. CDT
John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

The old song "April Showers" had as its premise the prelude for May flowers. As I look around my yard I think that those February showers brought March flowers and the March showers have ushered in the April flowers that shouldn't be here until May. The best illustration is the peony bud photo. Those things are a month ahead of their regular budding cycle.


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But, yesterday ushered in terrapin season. My son started picking those up as a young boy and now past his 40th birthday, by a whole lot, he still picks them up. He brought a couple of males over yesterday and my English cockers Banshee and Thor watched over them and recalled the many good times they had with Miss Daisy, Thor's mother, as they searched out and found terrapins every day of their lives during the warmer months.

One of the photos is of a white-faced male terrapin, which aren't very common. Neither of the male terrapins were a bit shy, and they lined up for their race to the future tomato patch where they will dine on fresh produce this summer. I'm sure there will be enough to go around — the number of tomatoes going into the ground this year will be around 100. The picket fence was set up yesterday around one of the future patches, not to keep the terrapins out, but the English cockers who would eat those things all day if given the chance.

It was blanket washing day for Miss Banshee. She lies on the divan when I'm working at my computer, which is a considerable amount of time each week. She didn't like it a whole lot when the blanket was removed and she had to lie on the divan without her blanket. However, it is now clean and back on the divan, but she isn't happy, since it lost its odor, and she's now lying at my feet.

With the warm winter, the columbine plants never died back and a few of the photos are a sample of their blooms. Speaking of blooms, the cherry tree is starting to share its bounty with the ground below.

This morning the first yellow rose of Texas bloomed in my back yard. I guess that was in sympathy with the many roses in the Lone Star State that got mangled in the severe weather in northern Texas this afternoon. With the appearance of the new growth there is always a reminder of the old. One of the photos depicts the last leaf from the huge sycamore tree in the back yard. It was pushed off the limb by a new leaf.

Although the wisteria is a beautiful bush, the odor can sometimes be overwhelming. The blooms average 20 inches in length this season, and also I allowed it to "take off" a little bit last year and it bloomed half way up a sycamore tree. I may live to regret that decision. But, the next owner of the place where I call home can cut down the wisteria if he or she doesn't like it taking over the neighborhood. Right now I'm content to let that be my legacy.

Well, I'm about done other than to say the iris season will soon be on us in full force. Only the dark-colored and one light-blue iris have bloomed this season. The magnificent colored ones are on deck. When they come into full bloom, I'll be calling them the orchids of the Midwest.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how.