I looked out the kitchen window this morning and noticed that the bare black branches of the neighbor's wild rose bushes are beginning to show tiny, tightly-furled knobs of greenery.
My daffodils are up about 5 inches - and they're budding.
It's early February, and every year about this time I stand in the garden and argue with the plants. “Go back, you fools! It's too early!” I scream at them. “It's a trap!!!” (Curiously, we hardly ever see anything of our neighbors in the winter.)
It is a trap, since we still have a lot of cold rain, a few freezes and possibly even more snow before spring begins in earnest; but it's a breath of fresh air, as well. If there weren't a few signs in early February that, someday, winter will end – well, a lot of us probably wouldn't make it until late February.
The kids and I used to take walks every year looking for “spring beauties.” We took lots of “Noticing Walks” - walks during which we'd look for something in particular, like chimneys or birds or blue houses or mailboxes shaped like something besides mailboxes – but I think Spring Beauty walks were my favorites. We could always find beauty once we looked for it: yellow crocus blooming through the snow, birds building nests, sharply-textured new leaves and even (one banner year) a mama duck with 8 fuzzy baby ducklings swimming behind her.
It's good to slow down occasionally and watch the seasons pass. Yes, the stupid daffodils will probably get frostbite again this year – tulips have a lot more sense – and an ice storm is liable to turn those cat's-paw rose leaflets black. Still, I could use a little Spring to tide me through the rest of this winter.
I wonder if I could entice a high-school junior into taking a walk with me?
Image by Jiihaa