We are all thinking Spring thoughts here on the Cape, and it seems to be working.
The sun sets a little later in the evening, there’s a cardinal singing merrily outside the window in the early morning sunshine, I heard red-winged blackbirds singing in the marsh the other night, there are green bits of bulb foliage pushing their way out of the cold ground and I’ve got a sinus infection. To my knowledge, those are the signs of Spring on Cape Cod.
This introspective little gargoyle was left behind for me by the previous tenants of the nest and he has since occupied a dim little corner of the place, scarcely noticed as he sat there thinking his thoughts. But I’ve recently done some cleaning/re-arranging and decided it was time he enjoyed a little time in the sun.
You may remember this kitty here as my pal, Peanut. I spent the last week of February expatriated to the wilds of Brewster for a week’s house-sitting, as I bunked in with my furry friends Peanut and Mugsy while their people were enjoy a week of fun and sun South of de Border.
Here’s Mugs relaxing in a nice warm patch of sunshine, which we are enjoying more of lately. Often – as was the case while I was staying there – the outdoor temperatures haven’t quite matched the warm look of the sunshine, but the sun’s warming rays alone are enough to feed our souls and build our excitement about the coming change of seasons.
We’re not fooled, of course, and so we doubt that Winter is quite finished with us. Spring here isn’t always – or even often – a sudden ray of sunshine from the sky that brings blooms to dot the landscape everywhere one looks. Usually its a long transitional period with wildly varying up and down temps to confuse us about what jacket to wear, a little bit of snow here and there and plenty of wind and rain. Which you’ll admit does sound like just a little more winter. We can’t disagree. The ocean that keeps us warmer longer in the autumn, does just the opposite in springtime. Ah, well.
But a little snow can’t dampen our enthusiasm, nor Nature’s, and after another recent dash of snow and cold, followed by some sunshine for melting, the alert was sounded from Trout Towers that snowdrops and violets were dotting the landscape there.
The snowdrops are to be expected. It’s their time on the stage, after all. But wild violets don’t usually bloom until May, so I was a little concerned that we were going to be starting off our season with the sort of crazy early blooming that characterized so much of last spring.
Armed with my camera, I showed up to see what the deal was…and found a fun crop of last season’s violas, undeterred by wind chills and snow fall, blooming anew to get the season started. What a treat! Surely, by month’s end, we’ll have had at least one day nice enough to tempt me outside to do a little “pre-season” landscape maintenance, raking and such.
While it’s still just a little early to get things underway out there, it certainly is fun to have the earliest blooms to tempt us from our warm homes to have a look around and start to build our enthusiasm. After all, now’s the time to be starting seeds indoors, for planting in summer gardens a couple of months down the road.
I was excited for the tip-off about the snowdrops, too, as I often miss them. They are pretty much the first thing to bloom for the year (unless one has a witch hazel tree in the their yard) and I don’t always remember to look until they are passed.
If their subtle color pallette and frost locale isn’t your thing, of course, there’s always the Cut Flower section at Trader Joe’s, where you can find all kinds of more spectacular arrangements.
Now, this isn’t actually a sign of spring, except on my kitchen windowsill, but here’s my old amaryllis bulb, finally sprung to life and fixing to bloom. Now that I’ve had this bulb for a couple of winters now, I realize that it comes to life about a month later than the previous year (in much the same way the moon rises about an hour later each day). Not that it matters much; I’m still plenty excited for it’s red and white blooms. But I’m wondering if I ought to plan on it being a summer bloom in a year or so!
In another part of the Nest, near the living room’s southern windows, the morning glory seeds I planted before the house sit gig are growing nicely. I’m not willing to count my blooms before they do so, but I’m excited at the very prospect of having some glories earlier in the season this year. Fingers crossed!!
Meanwhile, in case one more sign was necessary, here’s a recent sunset picture, taken around 5:30 pm. Now it’s staying light late enough to walk to the bay and back after work, when the wind chill isn’t discouraging.