I don’t keep really careful or accurate weather records but I do remember that the earliest I’ve seen salmonberry blossoms is February 6. (That was in 2005.) I’ve been watching for them this year but haven’t yet seen a single one. I’ve just come in from a little walk around the trees and garden and it looks like winter. There was even a tiny bit of ice on the bathtub pool where the tree frogs lay their eggs. On Saturday I was digging in the vegetable garden and I heard a tree frog chirping somewhere nearby. It’s too early, I told it. Stay hidden. The snow is still low on the mountain.
But on Saturday when I forked over the compost, there were nests of worms quite close to the surface:
Last week’s full moon is sometimes called the Full Worm Moon and when I was digging the beds I call Wave and Long Eye, the fork unearthed huge worms, doing their work in the cold soil. So the season is late but there are signs of spring. The 50 daffodils I planted with my granddaughter in November are all up and looking happy in their nests of moss. The fennel is green and feathery. Garlic looks strong. A couple of tiny plants of corn salad. Even a small digging of last year’s red potatoes in Long Eye (and those volunteers to begin with). One morning we’ll wake and the sun will be climbing in a blue sky and we’ll know that the season has truly turned. I found this little chart to show how there is less energy coming from the sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation impinging on the land during winter.
Like rivers? Or tides?
But I also like winter for the time inside, for writing (I completed two long essays during the dark season and am moving towards finishing a novella that has been patiently waiting for attention). The stacks of books at the top of the stairs, waiting to be shelved (oh, such optimism), the nearly-completed indigo quilt, tell me I’ve spent the hours productively.
And good things have happened. Are happening. A new grandchild begun, a trip to Ukraine in September dreamed about and in the planning stages. A box of Courtepointes opened in great excitement (and followed by a terrific review in Le Devoir). A wonderful and generous review of Euclid’s Orchard in the Ormsby Review (the online review section of B.C. BookWorld): https://bcbooklook.com/2018/02/27/the-trees-we-cant-see/
This morning our young cat Winter jumped onto my stomach before 6:30, encouraged by the light to ask for his breakfast. So he knows something is in the air. It might be time to check on the salmonberries again. Just in case.