Holding hope close

purple crocus

I was almost giddy with excitement when I spotted these little crocuses this past Sunday afternoon. I’d been scanning my yard for weeks for evidence of these early-blooming bulbs, but I think the cold has been too deep and too prolonged for most of them. This little bunch of lavender beauties is nestled just beneath my front wooden walkway, where they have been insulated from the worst of Winter’s ferocity. As soon as I spotted them, I ran and grabbed my camera. Proof, my friends, that Spring is growing nearer!

I will be holding closely to the images in this blog post as Winter hammers my region again over the next few days. Today I topped off bird feeders as snow flurries intensified. The snow morphed to rain, but that’s just Round 1 of what the weather seers predict to be a three-pronged attack — Winter’s Last Hurrah, I’m hoping. Tomorrow, most of the snow should remain to my south, just dusting the ground here. But Wednesday, Winter is throwing everything it’s got at my area. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, then more snow. The models can’t tell just yet how much freezing rain my home will get. Not much, I’m praying. Who doesn’t hate freezing rain?

Knowing this weather was heading my way, I spent Sunday in the late afternoon sunshine seeking more signs of spring. I found a few — like these snowdrops that flourish beneath a Winterhazel shrub. They’re usually in full bloom by now. I hope the ice doesn’t squash them flat before they get a chance to fully open.

Snow drops

I spotted an egg case from an Asian Praying Mantis attached to a spirea in my front garden. I suspect it was left by the bright green female I showed you in this post.

It is always amazing to see the dozen upon dozens of tiny mantis hatchlings emerge in Spring sunshine.

It is always amazing to see the dozens upon dozens of tiny mantis hatchlings emerge in Spring sunshine.

And finally, as I was walking up the hill from admiring the snowdrops, I spotted a bright yellow crocus blooming all by itself beneath the Black Walnut. I didn’t plant the crocuses that are blooming in these pictures. I’m assuming ants moved the seeds around. How ever they got where they are growing, I am delighted they are there — and blooming!

I will be holding tightly to these hopeful images as Winter ices my landscape once again. I know that soon I’ll be up to my elbows in weeds and pollen. I am so ready!

A hopeful sign of Spring's imminent arrival.

A hopeful sign of Spring’s imminent arrival.

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