This year so far has been unseasonably, though not unbearably, cold, with temperatures remaining consistently about ten degrees below average. Thus, some of the seasonal markers I'm accustomed to were pushed off schedule. This week, I've finally started to see some progress: not only the daffodil foliage, but the first shoots of my tiger lillies are coming up, along with the few remaining tulips that the squirrels haven't gotten to yet. Today I actually saw the first daffodils blooming out along the main road into town, and at work a few of last fall's pansies have reincarnated. The Bradford pear trees are bursting with the fuzzy greyish catkins that will, in just a few days, puff out into those delicate white blossoms that look so pretty and smell so vile. Up next will be the fragile ornamental cherry trees that decorate our parking lot; the softly fragrant pink blossoms will appear, and I'll become very sentimental and write haiku about them, and then they'll rain down in pink drifts along the curbs, and I'll mutter incoherently about wabi-sabi and the impermanence of things. I love spring.
Usually the crocuses (all right, crocus singular--the squirrels dug up and ate all the rest of them) appear in February, but not this year; I just noticed it yesterday. The weed crop is already coming in nicely. Looks like I'll be spending some time this weekend weeding and clearing up leaves, digging out dead bits from last fall and maybe putting down some mulch.