Late winter. The cold is still with us, and on my office window, there is a beautiful leaf made of frost, which glitters in the sun. The driveway is icy, and the path to the woodpile is icy. I wear my grippers when I am in the backyard, but nevertheless there is a fine sprinkle of wood ash on the path. I hate the mess, but it would be worse to fall and break something. So grumbling a bit to myself, I spread the ash.
Despite the cold, there are signs of spring. The days are getting longer. It is light until nearly 6:00 p.m. now. And the other day when I was taking a walk, I heard a bird’s high-pitched call coming from an apple tree. A tufted titmouse or a cardinal? A cardinal, I decided, and I scanned the apple tree for a flash of red and a trim silhouette. I found it, and I felt a moment of triumph. It was indeed a cardinal, calling to attract a mate. Yes, spring is coming. The birds know it, even if we humans feel as though we are still stuck in deep winter.
As we approach spring, here are some late winter pictures to remind us of the cold beauty of where we’ve been: