Thursday, February 17, 2011

It Appears There Will Be a Spring

The Promise of Spring 1, 2011

I’ve been a little low lately. There’s nothing serious going on. No major issues. A few more deaths around me than usual. A few disappointments. A bit of a creative drought. The usual anxieties. But nothing that stops the world from spinning. I’ll get over it.

I gather this happens to a lot of people this time of year. We’re in the doldrums between [hopefully] the worst of winter and the promise of spring. The holidays are over. The weather’s too unpredictable yet to know whether we should start working in the garden or stay inside and paint bedrooms.

This happens every year. You think I’d have figured a way around it by now. (Aha! So this is why some people go to the Caribbean in February!)

Yesterday afternoon I took the dog out for a quick “run and a sniff,” as one of our elderly British friends used to say. On cold days these are utilitarian outings. You throw the tennis ball until the terrier’s compelled to run off into the ivy and do her business and then you go back indoors.

Only yesterday I decided to take the camera out with me. Just having the camera in hand makes me a more observant person. We played with the tennis ball and then I let the dog wander around some while I started paying more attention to my own surroundings.

What emerged yesterday was hardly a revelation. It started with a simple walk around to see which of the shrubs had survived this capricious winter and which hadn’t. That requires looking at things up close, snapping a few branches and such.

I call this the “brown” season. It’s when I pick up all the dead limbs and debris that the most recent winter storms and winds have cast about. There are bushes to trim, dead materials to remove. The lawn is dull. The vegetable garden is covered. All in all, not exactly what I needed on a day when I was running low on enthusiasm.

Last Season, 2011

Then it happened. I noticed a little sprig of green poking up through the mulch in the woodland garden area on one side of our property. When I looked closer I found tufts of daffodils finding their way to the sun. The dog and I will have to be a little more careful now when we walk over there.

Then I noticed that some of the hydrangeas, even the ones that looked like they might not have survived the winter, have buds coming.

I’m feeling better already.

The Promise of Spring 10, 2011


  1. Oh, LOVE these photos, Chris! I noticed the same thing the other day--our tulip foliage is starting to pop up about an inch out of the soil, and the daffodils are definitely coming up. I haven't checked out our hydrangeas yet to see if they have buds--I sure hope so. Those images are gorgeous! I'd put that hydrangea in a vase. So delicate. I can't wait for spring--I know we get it early enough, and I shouldn't complain, but that's why I like living here, so I count on it!

  2. This is such a lovely post, Chris. It makes me feel better. I hope you continue to feel better , too.

  3. This year I bought a ski pass for the first time in 5 years. It's been a great winter for it, tons of snow and relatively mild temperatures. As much fun as it's been and even though I'm not ready for it to be over, I'm still itching for spring. Back home, it IS spring. It will be the end of May before it comes to Vermont.

    Now I'm depressed.

    I hope you find a nice sunny spot on a rock soon.

  4. I've always felt a little depressed when the Christmas decorations come down and everything looks and feels sort of drab. Oddly enough, just this afternoon I was up on the ladder helping the wife refill the bird buffet line and noticed the first few buds getting close to opening on the maple tree. Even though I know we still have another month and a half when snow isn't out of the question I also know that anything that does fall won't last long. hang in there, Chris, we're all in this together.