Friday, April 5, 2013

Searching for Signs of Spring


Every winter I get to the point where I start to wonder if spring will ever arrive or if it will be winter forever. There's a degree of desperation that ensues on the cusp of winter and spring that forces me out the door and into the chilled bleak air to search for signs of life.
I started to look for signs of spring in ernest three weeks ago, taking rambling walks in Central Park and peering into tree pits, searching for any changes in the caked and dusty winter ground. Despite the cold and snowy weather I noticed crocuses in bloom, daffodil bulbs peaking up out of the soil, and willowy tree branches looking a bit more yellow around the edges (or was this just my imagination?).

Then last week the park staff was out in force, clearing and pruning and raking. The mulch wafted through the air, almost warming it. The daffodils popped up, and suddenly spring had sprung!
Now we are entering my favorite part of spring, when things begin to change so quickly that once June arrives it is hard to remember what the trees even looked like without their leaves.
This is all a long-winded way of saying that getting out for a daily walk to look for signs of spring is a great way to enjoy the ephemeral spring season! Sometimes I go by myself, sometime I go with a friend. It is a treasure hunt-like activity: identifying new growth and taking photos. Last week I even found myself meeting a friend in the park for an evening stroll to find daffodils instead of our usual happy hour joint and draft beer.