Arkansas celebrates spring

A field of jonquils

A field of jonquils

Normally in Arkansas spring arrives the end of February when the old fashioned jonquils, planted a century or more ago, burst forth in glorious bloom. They are almost like wild flowers, for the woods are filled with them. Yet they must be planted by humankind. So why are the woods and pastures ablaze with golden blooms? Because once someone lived everywhere you find a large patch of these lovely flowers.

When I visit the new Lake Ft. Smith State Park I can find those my mother planted more than

Lake from our place

Lake from our place

70 years ago. A picnic table sits on a knoll above the new lake and there was once the house in which I was born and lived until the age of five when we moved to town so I could attend school. Around that table still bloom those jonquils she lovingly planted so long ago.

There are spots all over these Boston Mountains where a lonely stone fireplace reaches into the sky, and at its feet are spread carpets of sunshine. Deep in the wilderness, where roads no longer exist, a brave hiker off the beaten path will stumble upon a field of jonquils nodding in the warm spring breezes. And know that her feet trod where once a family lived and worked and played.

It is said that the more you leave them alone, the easier these bulbs spread and the more proficient the blooms. If you take a lawn mower to them after they bloom, and before six weeks have passed, they will stop blooming and eventually die out.

This year spring came late to the Ozarks. It was the end of March before the jonquils bloomed and everything else has followed suit. The dogwood and redbud are just now bursting forth.

springfest 006Here I am with my new writing pal, Alice White, offering our books. The skull is an older friend of mine who now helps me promote my latest book, The Purloined Skull.

But every year, no matter the cycle of blooms, Fayetteville, Arkansas celebrates spring with a festival they’ve dubbed Springfest. Up to 10,000 people gather along famed Dickson Street. Vendors of everything one can possibly dream up line the street. There are bed races and plenty of other fun events. Bands play, singers sing and dancers perform. This year writers represented by Oghma Creative Media were present to sign their books. For the first time in my memory we were actually invited to take part, along with musicians and performers, thanks to the efforts of Casey Cowan and his crew.

Big Foot showed up at our booth because Pamela Foster, one of our authors, has written a book called Big Foot Blues. He was popular with the kiddies and many of the dogs checked springfest 005him out too. I worried that huge 300 pound mastiff might take Big Foot on, but he wisely ignore him.

I visited with Pam as well as western authors Dusty Richards and Greg Camp, mystery author Gil Miller, Mike Miller, Alice White, Nancy Hartney, Ruth Weeks and Jan Morrill, and a good time was had by all. Do want to mention Robin Cowan, a young man who took charge of me and saw that I was where I needed to be, no easy task. If he’s any indication of teen agers today, we are in very good shape indeed.

If I’ve missed anyone, put it down to my loss of memory. What a perfect way to welcome redbudsspring in the Arkansas Ozarks.

 

 

Here’s a redbud tree showing its glorious colors in my backyard. Happy Spring to Everyone!!

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About veldabrotherton

I'm primarily a writer, but I also speak and teach workshops and co-chair a large critique group. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. After almost 30 years in this business, I still have something to learn and attend conferences to network with other writers, publishers, editors and agents.
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8 Responses to Arkansas celebrates spring

  1. We couldn’t have had a better day weather wise for it either 🙂 Was nice to see (and feel) the sun for a change… it seems to have been a while. I also had a marvelous time. It was wonderful to see everyone, and meet some new faces. I would also like to mention Robin. Without him neither of us could have managed 🙂

  2. Here in Oregon we call these daffodils, but my parents, native Kansans, always called them jonquils. Thanks for a lovely visit to Fayetteville and spring in the Ozarks. I suspect I’ll be seeing Dusty Richards in a couple of months at the Western Writers of America convention in Sacramento. Might you be there, too?

  3. heidiwriter says:

    Lovely, Velda! And, Irene, I didn’t know that daffodils and jonquils were the same! And I love your skull friend!

  4. Those jonquils are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. We have the same problem with our bluebonnets. I posted with some pics on my blog last weekend about them. they’re gorgeous now, but late because of the colder weather.

  5. Here the natives refer to these lovely little nuggets of gold as “Easter flowers” because they bloom out so early, even through snow or ice, if that happens late.

  6. A.B.Kar. says:

    Thank you Velda for bringing me the memory of springs in the Ozarks. I was in Fayetteville during springs two years ago. I shall cherish the memory for ever.
    Nice to have the mention about Dusty Richards, I had the pleasure of meeting in a literary get-together where i could share a few chapters of my book – BEHIND THE BAMBOO CURTAIN.
    Now sitting at Kolkata at 40 degrees Celsius, I am enjoying an extreme summer!
    Perspectives make the mind indulge in different kinds of games.
    It is something which surprises me always.
    Thank you Velda for the spark!

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