No other season brings with it the excited anticipation, or the hope of Spring. After months of cold within nature's suspended animation come signs that life will begin again. It is very easy to understand how the myth of Persephone was formed, with her living in the underworld for part of the year, and her return to earth in spring; the stirrings of growth do seem to ask for a magical intervention. I returned home yesterday after several days away, and although there was some fresh snow on the ground, there was also a large sweep of bare lawn. This means the robins will soon return to peck at the frozen ground.
At the edge of the pond a spring is running with fresh water.
At another clear circle a tiny shoot of Yellow Flag iris pokes up bravely.
Along the south facing foundation daylilies have emerged, even warming holes in ice.
Snowdrops, the earliest and most hardy of flowers, are raising their pristine heads.
In the woods, the receding snow has exposed mosses at the base of trees, vividly green after the winter's moisture.
Above my back door is a line of Phoebe nests. Each year a female builds a new nest, though I've read that they sometimes use an old one. They'll return soon and soon there will be eggs, then little beaks sticking up above the nest's edge. Sometimes I wonder why they return to this spot, since I annoy them by using the door to go out to the backyard. Then I see the female sitting in the ash tree, bobbing her tail and waiting for me to leave.
When I took a close look at the nest I was surprised that the nest was anchored by mud on its bottom, with grasses and mosses and feathers above. Birds' nests are beautiful things, and a sign of the persistence and hope of life.
As for the other members of my household, Poppy and Blinky have decided that it is indeed spring, and mild enough, though still chilly, to go outside and get some fresh air. We in the animal kingdom, and our friends in the plant kingdom are all full of joy at this turn of seasons, as fitful as it may be.