from the marsh
Spring was well on its way last week with some purple crocus in bud in the garden, feathery new fennel coming up, a few snowdrops in bloom, but best of all, a kind of golden-pink in the western sky around 5:30 p.m. Late enough in winter to have premonitions of spring light. At this time of year, we watch for the thin scribble as a high jet flies south over Georgia Strait. There’s probably a way of figuring out its destination but it’s always seemed like an announcement, in bright silver against the indigo sky, to say, Not long now.
Brendan was here for the weekend. When we arrived home from collecting him from the ferry on Friday, he stood by the sliding doors and said two things. “It’s so green!” (He lives in Edmonton.) And ” It’s still light at 6:00!” But then when he came out the next morning, the world was white with snow. We’d had about 3 inches overnight and the snow fell until Monday, about 6 inches in all. So much for a spring respite from Alberta weather. We did go walking, all bundled up — or at least John and I were. Brendan wore a hoodie, insisting we couldn’t actually consider it cold!
So the salmonberry blooms are late this year, the buds only just beginning to swell on our local bushes. I’ve been watching a particular clump of yellow violets, hoping for a few early flowers, but I bet they won’t bloom for another month.
This week, though, the red-winged blackbirds have been trilling on the marsh we pass on our way to get our mail. We saw a bold male on a high tree above the marsh, singing for all it was worth. And this time of year, it’s worth its weight in gold — that tumble of notes over the marsh as we clumped by in our winter clothes.