It’s so easy to find lots of in-the-moment things to enjoy about spring, summer, and autumn. But late winter? What a drab time of year, right? Impatience for the growing season to begin rises right along with the sap in the maples. (At least it does in me!)

We had a big snowstorm and cold snap last week and yesterday brought snow, sleet, and rain. The sun came out this morning, though, and how wonderful to see it smiling in a nearly cloudless sky! Thus inspired, I thought I’d share some of the things I found to enjoy today.

  1. Snowdrops are about to start blooming!
  2. Daffodils and hyacinths are sprouting.
  3. Today is the first day I heard a robin singing. The chickadees, titmice, song sparrows, and wrens have been singing for awhile, but the robin is the earliest of what I consider the spring chorus.
  4. The buds on all the trees and bushes are swelling. The neighbor’s row of poplar trees are among the earliest to leaf out, but right now, they’re smoky grey columns smudged all over with burgundy buds – beautiful!
  5. The ‘Winter King’ hawthorn sparkling in the morning sun. Between bright red berries and drops of water catching the light, it may as well have been strung all over with garlands of rubies and diamonds.
  6. The sheaths around the pussy willow buds are beginning to slip away; there’s just a hint of silver, furry catkins peeking out.
  7. Water droplets glinting in the light as they cling to seed heads in the meadow garden. In its own way, the picture created is just as pretty as the flowers to come.
  8. The pleasure of knowing that the spring peepers will start singing soon and wondering when I’ll first hear them.
  9. Thinking about what I’ll plant this year and how it will look. Dreaming is some of the best fun of the winter garden!
  10. Being warm enough with a spring jacket, instead of having to bundle up in a winter parka.
  11. Opening windows and airing the house out. Julian Fergus was in his glory, sitting on a windowsill with his nose up against the screen, wondering how Roast Shoulder of Robin would taste.
  12. Listening to the crunch of snow underfoot as I meandered around the yard.
  13. Watching the snow cover melt over the course of the day. It always follows the same patterns and you can learn a lot about the warm and cool spots in your yard by watching the progression.
  14. Reveling in the growing influence of the sunlight as the equinox approaches and the Northern Hemisphere starts its annual tilt toward the sun.
  15. Last, but far from least, the bluebirds are still visiting regularly!

What are your favorite things to enjoy in that in-between time when winter is loosening its grip and spring is just around the corner?