Foreshadows of spring

blogDSCN8713The title of yesterday’s post proved to be  a foreshadow of my thoughts today.

See around here, in my neck of the woods, seeing shadows is kind of a big deal.

Last week, the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, the so called prognosticator of all prognosticators, did not see his shadow. 

In groundhogese, that supposedly means spring is on its way.  If ol’ Phil’s shadow had shown up, we would be stuck in the throes of winter for  6 more weeks, supposedly.

If you’re not familiar with this age-old weather indicator, click here to read a post I wrote a couple of years ago about my home state’s famous rodent celebrity.

I didn’t stop to ask the big old granddaddy groundhog, who frequents our back yard and hides out inside our burn barrel, if he saw his shadow or not, so I’ll just have to take Phil’s word for it.

And this lover of snowy days and cold weather is ready to welcome spring!  In  December and January, I’m all over the winter season.   I love snowfall.   I think it’s beautiful and it makes my landscape appear magical when it’s all frosted over with a fluffy blanket of white.

I relish the frigid temperatures because for some reason, it just makes me feel more alive.  Stepping outside and breathing in that frosty, crisp air invigorates me.  I enjoy curling up on the couch under a fleecy blanket with a steaming cup of tea in my hands and watching the snowflakes twirl and dance outside my windows.

But something happens to me in February.   The magic is gone.  By this month, my eyes and brain scream for color in my world.  Gazing out at a landscape sporting white, shades of brown, black, and grey, so devoid of color, makes me yearn for a spot of yellow or pink or red or purple or anything!

Yes, I’ll admit it.  I become weary of the outside color deficient world.   One February a couple of years ago, the lack of color affected me so tremendously, my husband planned an afternoon escape from our snow globe to visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in our nearby city just to see a spot of color from the plants and flowers growing inside.

As soon as we left the barren, snow laden outdoors and stepped inside to a feast of various hues and shades of color galore for our eyes, my attitude changed.  I practically became giddy surrounded by the lush greenness of plants and the blooming vibrancy of all the flowers.

Enchanting.  That world of vivid color captivated and transported me to a happy place.  I photographed everything and came home with a plethora of pictures that I still enjoy viewing especially during the winter month of February.

So I am ready for spring.  Bring on the sunshine.  Bring on the budding trees.  Bring on the gradual greening of grass.  Bring on the tiny crocuses butting their heads through the dark ground.  Bring on the daffodils.  The tulips.  The hyacinths!

I’m ready to see dazzling colors.  I’m ready to smell luscious scents.  I’m ready for an overload of senses that spring promises.

And so is our cat.  She hates winter.  She will not step one pretty, little paw outside if there’s a hint of snow on the ground.  So by this time of year, she’s got cat cabin fever in the worst way.

She whines to go outside, but when we open the door and she gets a glimpse of the wintry expanse, she refuses to budge.  Then she whines to go to the garage.  Once there, she turns around and whines to come back inside the house.  Then she wanders around the house, whining.  Back to the garage.  In five minutes, she whines to be back inside.  It’s a lot of cat whining and she drives us crazy with cat cabin fever too.

So I’m really hoping ol’ Phil got his prediction correct this year and that spring is truly right around the corner. 

blogIMG_0288But just when I think I can’t take the plainness of my surroundings and the absolute lack of color that blankets our property any longer, I glance outside my kitchen window and God sends me a little reprieve from winter’s icy grip and colorless world.

A flurry of red here, a glimpse of blue there in the maple tree closest to our back yard deck. 

Birds at our bird feeder.  Some wear hues of brown,  but oh, those ones flaunting their vibrant coats catch my eye.

Their brilliant tint really stands out against white and black surroundings. Bright red cardinals and even some pesky blue jays visit every day giving me a little taste of color…a foreshadow of spring.

And I’m hungry for the hope of spring on this day.  That’s why I will write it on my heart that today, even though winter still surrounds me, is the best day of the year.

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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8 responses

  1. You’ve got a lot of patience Mama, I’d have chucked that cat out in the cold by the third whine, and every third whine after that. 🙂 Even though we’ve had a pleasant winter, I’m ready for dirt grubbing myself, planning a garden this year, first in many many years.

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  2. I can count on one hand the number of times our cat has gone outside. He just is a “scaredy cat” never having ventured outside. The vet says that’s a good thing. Yet still our cat whines not to go out, but for another reason. When I retired and found myself home more, I spoiled him lifting him up to the kitchen sink to enjoy a fountain of water. Now…sigh…good grief, etc….he whines to be lifted up to the sink. Oh no, what did I do?

    I remember your commenting about the winter blues. The forecast shows a huge blizzard for the NE this weekend. Oh dear…

    Love your redbirds on the twigs of the tree! Wow, did you really catch a male and female in that photo?

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    • So your cat sounds as spoiled as ours! Our cat is a fair-weather creature; she only goes outside when the weather is warm & balmy and even then just stays on our back deck checking out the scenery (she thinks she’s guarding the yard).

      It looks like the blizzard in the weather forecast is too far north for us, so we probably won’t get any more snow. And yes! I did catch male and female cardinals in our tree! I plan to post more pictures of them on another day. 🙂

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  3. This is such a beautiful post mama! And I am with you all the way. The winter white was all too fleeting and now it’s gray and black February. And the bright red cardinals and blue jays that make their fleeting presence known are surely the harbingers of spring. Bring it on! I’m ready too. 🙂

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