Waiting for salmonberry blossoms

One of my favourite moments in late winter is seeing the first salmonberry blossom. It’s usually February – last spring I found them in bloom on February 17th in Connor Park in Halfmoon Bay and the spring before that, it was February 23rd. I still haven’t seen any this year but it’s not for lack of looking. We walk most days and I’ve kept my eyes open for them, that sudden glimpse of deep cerise. Today we went up the Klein Lake trail, as likely a place as any, but not a bloom in sight. When we stopped for water on the high bluff, I did find lots of death camas shoots. They don’t bloom here until late May or early June so it’ll be ages yet before the bluff is covered in their creamy flowers.

I know that we’ve had a long cold winter (for the coast) but there are little signs of spring. About a month ago, on our walk over for the mail, we rescued a rough-skinned newt who’d crept out onto the shoulder of the highway, drawn by a brief spell of sunlight on the pavement, and then became too cold to move. I held it on my palm, a tiny dragon, and then tucked it down a bank, under some of last year’s foxglove leaves. The other day we heard tree frogs. I noticed that there are tiny beginnings of self-sown kale in the vegetable garden. Robins are at work on the mossy area behind our house, turning over the moss for worms and whatever else they can find. And how lovely to find crocus in bloom yesterday, with their promise of everything to follow. Can salmonberry blossoms be far behind?

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~ by theresakishkan on March 12, 2011.

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