Here’s to Spring

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
Fisherman’s Luck by Henry Van Dyke

Yellow tulips. Photo: Paula Nixon

Yellow tulips.
Photo: Paula Nixon

I just returned from a short trip to California and Nevada where spring is not holding back.  In Los Angeles hibiscus, azaleas, and birds of paradise were in full bloom; mounds of scarlet bougainvillea, visible from the freeway, decorated the hillsides.  On a morning walk in Boulder City, red roses spilling over onto the sidewalk tempted me to stop.

Back in Santa Fe, the arrival of spring is more cautious.  The willows are decked out in bright green and tiny purple crocus poke their heads up out of last fall’s leaf litter, but the robins, now visiting my birdbath daily, sometimes find a layer of ice if they show up too early.  After nearly twenty springs in northern New Mexico I would be more surprised than not if it didn’t snow another time or two.

But the countdown is on.  With each passing day there is a minute or two more of sunlight. Another tree unfurls its leaves and within weeks I’ll fill the glass feeder with sugar water to welcome back the hummingbirds.


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