I noticed the first tentative, hopeful sign of spring – the impossibly bright green new buds on the Indian plum branches – way back in the middle of February. And while I paused at the patch along the driveway a couple times a week just for the shot of hope and delighted in finding a few more near the house… Indian plum leaves are really more a sign of the end of winter than spring. They whisper, “almost, hang in there just a little longer”.
Then about last week, the frogs started calling. And I felt the involuntary full-body exhale. Ahh, the frogs know that the light has shifted. Yes, welcome, light. The pacific chorus frogs are thick around here, not to mention surprising loud and endlessly entertaining. Like the fact that they get alarmed (and go instantly silent) if we stand in front of the kitchen window after dark, and when we turn out the light to turn in for the night. They reassure me that while the evenings may still look dark, they feel (and sound) very different from long winter nights.
I would have sworn that after the frogs appeared, I was a true believer in spring. But then I saw the cherry blossoms. I was in Portland for work the last couple days and caught the cherries in full bloom. There was no carpet of petals yet, just the impossibly fluffy pink and white cotton-candy clouds of blossoms that erupt from the trees. I was giddy that such irrefutable evidence of seasonal shifts existed just 200 miles south of home. Look at those blossoms. Even with moody skies, it’s pure spring. Believe it.
Happy vernal equinox!