Magic of the Everyday, Nature, Personal Life

Mid-February, and Spring is Springing

True-color flowers on the redbud tree, draped with Spanish moss.

OK, so it’s technically 2/3 of the way through February, but still.

Fat red buds swelled, overnight it seems, on the maple trees, giving their bare branches a warm, fuzzy haze. The maples with the best situations have already burst open into tiny leaflets, scarlet with their youth. Birds are singing lustily, and the redbuds and magnolias are already in red-violet bloom! Squirrels race about, lashing their tails and chasing one another furiously. And two days ago I saw two hawks having a territory dispute while crows harried them both away.

It doesn’t show in the photo, but these blooms are abuzz with bees! The flowers are washed out to pink in the intense sunlight (and by my crappy phone camera).

It’s hard for the Ohioan in me to comprehend that yes, it is still only February. Here in north central Florida, the nights get cool, but the days warm into glorious 70°F (21°C), blissful with a sun hung in a “sky-blue” disc. I haven’t seen morning frost for a week (fingers crossed!). Up north, about now I’d be digging deep into myself, preparing for winter’s lingering “second half” and wishing it to just get over already. I’d be moping, staring out the windows at brisk blue skies over frigid white snows, and reminding myself that at least it was sunny, not gray and dreary. And that somehow made it bearable.

If you are in the north, surrounded by cold and snow, take heart! The springtime around me is moving inexorably northwards, heading towards you even now. If you’re near me, or further south, enjoy it now, while the heat is divine and summer’s deathly humidity hasn’t sent us all running for cover.

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