The sun rides higher in the sky and daylight lasts almost 11 hours, but those are just about the only signs of spring — and most of us long for a warm-up that stretches beyond a meager two days. Last week brought “bookend” snowstorms: 6.4 inches of new snow on Monday and 9.9 inches on Thursday/Thursday night, for a total of 16.3 inches measured at nearby Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
As we awaited the city plows, and dug out our sidewalks, driveways and garage aprons, the meteorologists promised an end to the snow and another plunge to below-zero temperatures for at least the next week. (In St. Paul, the average daytime high is +31°F and the nighttime low is +15°F for late February. Today’s predicted high is +8°F with a low of -13°F.)
Heavy snow blankets white cedars in our backyard.
Ice and snow cover a black spruce and a red maple in our front yard.
How I pine for the first crocus to poke through the soil and open its delicate cup-shaped flower to the early spring sun! But, with at least two feet of snow, plus the snow from sidewalk shoveling heaped on top of the garden, it’s likely to be several weeks before the snow melts and sunlight warms the soil. As soon as I spy the first patch of dirt, I’ll be out every afternoon peering at the muddy earth for the first tiny, reddish-green tip of a crocus to push through to the light and signal the reawakening of life. What signals spring to you?
In 2013, the first crocus bloomed on April 20th in our north-facing garden. (iPhone 4)
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