After a cloudy morning when the wind blew straight out of the north, the afternoon had turned sunny and pleasant. Though I had already taken my 40-minute walk, the lovely sunshine drew me outside again. Camera in hand, I tromped around the snowy yard looking for (mostly imagined) signs of spring. What I found was winter. Not surprising for early February in Vermont.
The ice storm of a couple of weeks ago still has its frosty grip on the trees and shrubs. Hard globs of frozen snow remain caught in their ones and twos on the upper branches.
Hard, translucent, glistening ice encases the west side of the forsythia.
And the rhododendron ‘Laurie’ crouches under its protective “house,” waiting to be liberated when the snow finally goes.
I ponder the gardening tools and equipment in the open end of the potting shed that also wait to become of use once again.
A pot of frozen Japanese forest grass crouches next to the doorway, sleeping through the warm afternoon.
The shed’s window boxes sit empty in the afternoon sun. Come June they will be planted with the ivy geraniums whose seeds I planted yesterday.
I find flower buds – the fuzzy star magnolia buds and the delicate clumps of andromeda. I am reassured that spring will be beautiful when these plump buds open.
But for now, the colors are muted. I’ll leave the Christmas wreath on the front door for a while longer – in the cold the evergreens do fine, and the red bow is a welcome spot of color.
The cardinals at the feeder, too, offer a bit of startling red when the sun hits them. And in the snow that came the next day (top of post), seeing those red birds made me happy.
Book Note: Jo Busha is the author of Time and the Garden, a collection of essays written over a ten-year period about gardening, life in Vermont, and observations of the natural world by author, Jo Busha. It is arranged by season, but not all the essays have a specific seasonal connection. It will appeal to gardeners, readers seeking a strong sense of place, and people interested in rural living, even if they aren’t able to live it. This place, where Busha has lived for 45 years has played a huge role in her life. While not a how-to book, gardeners may find the essays instructive. Book lovers are likely to feel this a cozy read, warmth for a snowy day.