If you ignore the start of December, it's been a fairly mild winter around here. We've had stretches of 60 degree days, little to no snow, and frankly I can't really think of any prolonged spells where we hit temps that made your bones shiver.
The weather folks keep telling us that will change. First January was supposed to normalize. It never really did. Then they said we'd hit deep freeze last week. Then perhaps this week. It's cooler this morning and fairly blustery. We're already above freezing though. They tell us to expect a day with temperatures below 30F at some point this week. Perhaps some snow between now and the end of next week.
Regardless, nature has been sufficient tricked around here and it's enough to give us hope even if the wind does blow and the snow does fall. The kids and I have spent a fair amount of time outdoors when the temperatures feel more like April than February. On one of these outings we've found this:
These little buds from my border of Lupine plants nestle between the bits of browned leaves that feel after the big "rake." The green delicate looking fans burst through the cold ground not far from the green leafy bits daffodil and tulip plants beginning to appear throughout the property. Our early spring plants are starting to show up for the party.
As we bundle up today and perhaps for the next two weeks, at least we can run our gloved fingers along the green hint of spring. We can take comfort in our shivers knowing that the warm days are coming to stay sooner than it might seem. Granted, I might worry a bit that the cold snap which represents something a bit closer to normalcy could harm the early risers. Yet we've seen this dance before and each spring we're greeted with a burst of color for our patience.
If you're getting snow (as we very well may before March arrives) join me in holding the image of this little plant in your mind's eye. I'll be holding on to it tightly.