We are still in deep winter here in northern Vermont: today the wind is howling and snow is blowing. But there are tight little packages on trees and shrubs ready to burst into flower and leaf when the time is right. A pair of American Cranberry buds stand up tall, their rounded shapes coming to a point like onion domes.
In the woods, the buds of beech trees are long and elegantly wrapped.
The lilac has large rounded buds, which look as though they're ready to open, but it will be two months before that will happen.
Branches and buds of blueberry bushes are a vivid red, pulsing with life next to the cool white snow.
Small buds climb raspberry canes.
Two red apple tree buds point downwards, but hold up hope.
The apple trees, with their pointing red fingers, look like they are celebrating their good fortune on a bright and cold day. Some day in May, the buds will open, leaves will begin to form; this year there will also be flowers, and if all goes well, fruit in the fall. The trees and shrubs know that winter will end and the growing season will begin; they remind me to be as calm and patient as they are.