Here is the good news – March ushers in Spring and as Alexander Pope wrote in 1734, “Hope springs eternal”.  And for most of us, I think Spring means hope, renewal, and joy.  The word itself creates an image of leaping forward.

While the changes in the weather and blossoming plants is not as dramatic here as it was up north, Spring in The Villages is no less appealing. Last year I planted a blood orange tree and a Meyer lemon tree (both are only about four feet tall so maybe they are called a bush at this point).  I enjoyed several delicious oranges and this year the tree already has a lot of buds and blossoms, so I am hoping for a good crop.  The lemon tree produced about twenty lemons, some about the size of a softball.  I am still harvesting these lemons and look forward to what the tree will produce this year.

While so much attention is focused on the development of the southern end of The Villages, it is nice to see that the existing areas are being well cared for.  I watched as miles of fencing along Rt 466, Stillwater Trail, and other areas have been replaced.  It was more noticeable before they painted it black and looked quite nice even before the paint was applied.  I drive along Rt 466 a lot, both in my car and in my golf cart and, except for an occasional spot where someone has hit the fence, I didn’t notice that it needed replacing.

Also, all the flowers in the roundabouts and neighborhood entrances have been replaced and they look great.  They certainly know what plants work well under certain weather conditions.  My wife and I walk a couple of miles every morning and some mornings, we have seen frost on the roofs but the flowers they planted remain unscathed by the frost and healthy-looking all the time.

On the topic of weather – I installed a weather station at my home, became a Weather Watcher, and I have had a great time watching the wind, rain, temperatures, humidity, and more information.  I send in my rain reading each morning for the previous day if I have any to report. There are many weather stations scattered around The Villages and far beyond.  If you are curious, you can go to  and look at any of the reporting stations.  You can even keep tabs on the weather stations back up north if you really want to feel good about NOT being there.

The bad news is that most of us are still waiting for an appointment to get our COVID immunization.  It seems that currently supplies cannot keep up with the demand, but I am sure they will catch up with the backlog and we will all have the opportunity to be immunized.  In the meantime, be careful.

Until we can safely meet again in person, stay safe and healthy,

John Dean