Signs of Life

Since December, I have been listening to people complain about the winter on a daily basis. SpringPrimroseThese acquaintances actually seem to be angry about the cold, the dark, the snow. How sad, that they cannot find beauty in all four seasons of the year! I’m not saying that I love driving to work in the icy conditions of the last two storms but I do find the landscape of winter enchanting. And so, to these people I say, open your eyes and discover the signs of spring that are upon us. Yes, that’s right, I did say that spring is upon us, even though another 6 inches of snow is blanketing the garden.

On the first weekend in February, when a warming trend melted enough of the crystal blanket covering the garden to show the dirt beneath, I looked out into my flower patch and viewed the first signs of life. At first, I wasn’t sure if my primroses were actually showing new growth but on close inspection I discovered this to be true. There peaking through the remains of last year’s brown stalks and rust tinged leaves were hints of a cleaner shade of green.SpringSnowdrop How exciting! The first shoots of new leaves were working their way through this frozen mantle to greet a new season.

This discovery cause me to think about snowdrops. If my primroses were showing new growth, then surely the snowdrops should be either blooming or very close to doing so! And so, I set off on a mission. I was going to hunt for snowdrops. I  searched high and low in the places where I had seen them in previous years, only to be disappointed in discovering those areas still covered in snow or last autumn’s leaves. I was about to give up, when I spotted something poking through the earth under an evergreen bush. I needed to get closer to investigate. Kneeling down, I discovered what most people would consider the first true sign of spring. They were not SpringBudblooming but yes, the snowdrops would soon be here.

I have also noticed, the slight hint of color barely visible on the branches of early blooming bushes. It is hard to explain, but some plants seems to display color within their branches, as they push new energy into the still dormant buds. I see this in the yellow twinge of forsythia branches or the red twinge of the thorny undergrowth I find during our woodland walks.

The days are getting longer as well. It is still light when I leave work at 5 and I arrive home without having to fumble at my door in the dark. The other morning, I watched the sky getting lighter at 6:30 just before the official sunrise.

And so, I dedicate this post to those who have been so unhappy with the winter. Cheer up, spring is here!

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