While filling the bird feeder, I glanced down to see the flower buds of Helleborus orientalis pushing through matted, brown oak leaves. My heart was filled with joy, which was hard to contain. Once something emerges from the frozen soil, it's the announcement of the beginning of another wonderful gardening season. Mother Nature will cover us with snow and chill us to the bone, but now there is hope.
Usually it's snowdrops which appear first, but not this year. This plant is close to the house and it benefiting from the warm brick exterior.
On my hands an knees, I gently brushed the snow away and to my surprise a tiny insect flew onto a leaf close by. It was barely below freezing, but this bug flew onto the leaf for an instant and then was gone as quickly as it appeared.
The lenten rose blooms in many wonderful colors, but often the flowers look downward. I love to cut them, flip them over and display them in a fancy crystal bowl filled with water inside. There's something about those intricate patterns floating around which make me smile.
They remind me spring is within reach and the end of another winter is inevitable.