signs of spring

IMG_0290, originally uploaded by isabelle gr.

There's an old familiar adage that has a special Seattle variation: "April showers bring May showers". True, but we need to write a new saying about how every February for the two - three weeks around Valentines' Day, the clouds part, the snowy mountain peaks glisten in the sunshine, and every bulb and flowering tree bursts into bloom. The pale, winter-worn people of the metrop seem to float down the sidewalks on clouds of cherry blossom perfume. Dogs frolic with renewed spirit; birds belt out saucy arias at all hours. I've never experienced a more dramatic springtime.

In the mediterranean micro-mini-climate of our driveway, our precocious clematis led the way again this year, since it can reach the sunniest high corner of our garden. This is its first bloom of the season, and it motivates me to get out and clean up the ravages of the winter. I uncovered many of our herbs and strawberries, looking fresh and chipper. We also have some mutant tulips that decided to go the full monty and now look like they regret it. It's always a surprise to see who thrives and who simply survives. The clematis is the over-achiever in the thrive bunch.

These zigzags are the beginnings of our new stairs. By the time the sun went down, the landing, treads and risers were in all in place. This weekend, the railing will materialize.

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