Three days until Spring begins, and visible signs of its arrival are thin on the ground…Snow lingers in the shady, hidden places, icy winds howl. Daffodil foliage is half its normal height. The number of days over 40F can be counted on the fingers of one hand…
Which is not to say there are no signs…they’re just subtle.
The birds and animals know. Each evening I hear the whistling sky-dance of the woodcocks in the field next door as they launch themselves into their mating rituals. The Tom Turkeys are in full display each time we pass the flock on the way to school, proud tailfeathers spread in hopes of impressing the Ladies.
Look closely at the limbs of that birch tree:
Each twig is tipped in a pollen-filled ‘cone’… Not as showy as a flower, but still a sign of Winter’s End.
The animals are all stirring, too. I’ve seen a pair of coyotes ranging about, looking to stake their claim on a bit of ground (they’ve been encouraged to seek elsewhere, I might add…) and the squirrels have momentarily ceased their assaults on the feeders to chase each other ’round the trees in hopes of pairing-off for the season.
There are subtle swellings in the buds of flowering trees and shrubs. Hard to notice, unless you really look…hard to miss, if you’re waiting and hoping. The best of the bunch is a grand, old Saucer Magnolia near Angel’s school…each day, the buds seem bigger and closer to bursting. Some morning soon, it will be a blowsy pink cloud…
Spring is late this year. Delayed. Overslept and missed the bus…but it’s coming.
We just may have to crawl around in the mud for a while to get a good look at it.