Hunting for Springtime

Hard to see any evidence of springtime by the river.

Hard to see any evidence of springtime by the river.

And so we went out to see if spring was coming. There’s no sign of leaves on the trees, nor any flowering shrubs heavy with buds. Last year, everything was early and blooming by now. This year, it looks much more like November than April.

Kaity looks for something to shoot ... a bird, a flower and finds ... not much.

Kaity looks for something to shoot … a bird, a flower and finds … not much.

Yet there are signs. Small signs and not easy to find, but they are there. The grass is beginning to show green. The twigs on bushes are red with fresh sap. There are buds, still small and far from ready to burst, but Spring will come. Late this year … early last year. It evens out, I guess.

A bird stopped briefly by, but did not stay long enough to capture an image.

A bird stopped briefly by, but did not stay long enough to capture an image.

It’s odd not having flowers at Easter, but at last we have some crocuses. I thought we weren’t going to have any at all this year, but though delayed, a few have struggled through late snows, ice, and hard frosts and are blooming in our garden.

As if the benches too are waiting for the air to finally warm.

As if the benches too are waiting for the air to finally warm.

The forsythia would usually be blooming by now, but it isn’t and looks to be at least a week or two in the future.

A classic case of better late than never!

Categories: Arts, Blackstone Valley, Ecology, Home, Nature, Photography, Spring, Water, Weather, Winter

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10 replies

  1. Love that phrase, “Well Digger’s Butt”. Sounds like something you could toss at someone who is irritating you.


  2. The difficulty is that people think of Spring only as the warm part, however it includes the total transition. Thus for me Spring begins with February’s Candlemas or Groundhog Day, if you will, actually it’s the Goddess Brigid’s opening day, and ends with Beltane on May 1, when summer begins in the Celtic tradition. It makes a whole lot more sense to me! Thus Fall begins on August 2 and Winter on November 1.So what we call Spring is actually Mid-Spring, and Winter, Mid-Winter. But then I take a different path more often than the usual one.


    • In this latitude, whatever spring we get is usually brief. Regionally, it’s our pattern. I have lived in other latitudes where spring was a real season. Even in NY, just a few degrees south, spring is a longer season. In Israel, spring is a real season and Autumn is non-existant. Spring at 32 degrees north latitude starts in January with the first flowering of almond trees and lasts through mid May when there’s a sudden transition to summer. Here, if we are lucky, we don’t go directly from bitter cold to summer in one afteroon. I know about transitions. On our plus side, we often have a long and glorious autumn — our finest season — and frequently a hard winter. Summer varies so much — wetter, hotter, shorter, longer — but we have it at least long enough to notice it’s arrival, passage, and gradual departure. Spring, on the other hand … By this late, we should have buds. Big fat ones. So we are late. I know Spring it will come. The earth is waking, just a little later than most years. Which may mean the whole process will get trucated into a very short period from blooming to full summer. There are only so many months, so many weeks … if it’s late, summer crowds in.

      The early spring prep time when sap is rising and the greening taking place now is usually earlier. Last year was very early. Lilacs in early April when they usually show up for Owen’s birthday in the beginning of May. The cold has hung on (at least the snow is gone) but we’ve had plenty of storms in April. I remember an April 1st 2-footer when we lived in Boston. Buried on April Fool’s Day and flooding two days later as it all turned to water. It’s been a couple of years since we had a rough winter and we forget quickly. Official dates on a calendar are technicalities, the angle of the sun. All that aside, I personally would like to see some flowers!


      • Perhaps one’s definition of spring makes a difference in how it is considered to be–early late, long, or short. Yes, the blossoming part of the season can be short.This is the part many think of as spring. And last year’s early spring was followed by a late hard frost that created some problems with the fruit harvest, as I recall. Still, for me, the span of the season includes snow and cold as well as warmth and blossoming. For me, spring is all a time of transition, usually gradual, until the end when things do burst, yet this bursting has been preceded by a gradual growth that is nearly invisible to impatient eyes and hearts.


  3. Somewhat amazingly, your spring looks pretty much like ours!


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