A friend, who lives a few miles away from here, emailed me the following photos, taken just last week:
This was a beautiful, gentle snow, lacking the dangerous icy edge of the snow event we had a few weeks ago. The snow was gone within a couple of days, and now we are heading full tilt into spring with warmer temperatures and birds singing by the thousands to announce the coming season.
I have never heard so many birds. Cardinals, bluebirds, sparrows, mockingbirds, robins, thrushes, wrens, towhees, crows, geese, doves, chickadees, and many others are warbling, twittering, chirping, calling, chipping, whistling, peeping, squeaking, and squawking. Even the hawks are up there, screeching out of tune, but nevertheless contributing their voices to the symphony.
Overnight the hellebores have begun to emerge, overdue by at least a month. I love the embryonic quality of their new leaves and buds:
Hellebores are best appreciated up close. The details of each individual bloom are fascinating:
Other flowers are more cautious, remembering the frigid temperatures of recent weeks. Daffodils are poking their heads up, their blooms soon to appear. Quince buds are swelling. Within days these shrubs will be covered with thousands of blooms. I found the first forsythia flower, and tips of camellia blooms are showing.
This is very exciting news. The birds proclaim it. I know it. Spring is almost here! Finally!