Anticipating Spring

There’s a common theme voiced in the social media pages I frequent–everyone is tired of winter. It’s been a long and unusually bitter one. Although the sun is shining today the temperature could be best described as brisk. We’re nearing the end of March, yet when I went out to feed the cats earlier this morning my breath formed a frosty cloud in the air and what water remained in their bowl had frozen.

Each day brings us closer to warmer weather and I’m impatiently searching for signs of spring in the landscape surrounding the house. I scrutinize the trees to see if buds are forming. I check my various flower beds for bits of green poking up into the light. I pore through my flower photos, hungry for the color so sadly lacking in the view from my windows, concluding that it will be some time yet before I can take any new ones.

Spring also signals a return of all the brightly colored birds: orange and black orioles and red-breasted grosbeaks, the tiny hummingbirds like winged jewels. Finches, both red and gold. Our bird feeders explode with a flurry of color and activity and my camera, unused for so many weeks, once again becomes an extension of my eyes and hands.

Perhaps more than any other creature, butterflies symbolize spring to me, although I no longer see the variety I did in seasons past. Swallowtails, both black and yellow, are noticeably fewer. It would be a sad world, indeed, without them, and I hope the day never comes when all we have left is photos, and specimens preserved in museum displays. Along those lines, I leave you with two of my favorites.

L, Monarch on Allium; R, American Lady on Coneflower

L, Monarch on Allium; R, American Lady on Coneflower

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