It’s Not Spring Yet

One of the things I miss most about living on the coast is the long, green arrival of spring. During my last visit in mid-January, my sister and nieces and I went for a walk and could see the tips of crocus, snowdrop, daffodil and even iris poking up out of soft dark earth. Here, winter is lingering as usual in February. Overnight lows of –10 are preserving the ice and snow, and while in the city there are only patches in shady corners and the packed, concrete-like piles around curbs, here the two feet of snow that arrived early in December has barely begun to recede. Friends in Kamloops tell me green is returning to their flowerbeds at lower elevations, but most of my garden is still crusted over with snow. The narrow bare patch in the courtyard under the eaves is vaguely green, bleached weeds left over from late fall, but it will be four weeks at least until the lilies beneath poke fresh green tips out of that hard soil. For a second I considered pruning. The shoots on the fruit trees got ahead of us last spring, and my apricot buds open in mid-March. But it was –12 last night, there are flurries in the forecast all week, and let’s face it, at –6 right now, my hands are going to be useless with the heavy loppers. Next Sunday is March 1st, (the start of planting season on the coast – we start May 1st) so if it’s a little warmer, maybe I’ll work on the apricot. Or maybe, given the odd weather patterns we’ve had this season, I’ll be photographing a fresh foot of snow or more hoarfrost needling the trees. One day soon we’ll enter that short but ugly brown mucky phase where weak sunshine finally reaches raw earth, and then I can finally walk through my garden in sneakers instead of snowshoes, looking for that first hint of spring.

Dining With My Valentine

A decadent dinner chez Richard, with filet mignon, half an Alaskan King crab leg, tiger prawn, and perfectly steamed broccoli (hollandaise optional): $27 a plate. Spending the weekend with Richard between business trips: priceless. And just try and find a meal like that at a restaurant for less than double! Can’t believe February is half over already… an update is coming soon.