It’s easy to forget that signs of spring actually appear in what we consider to be the middle of winter. Technically, December, January and February are the “winter months.” In reality, subtle changes begin to occur in January, so by the time spring officially appears in March, the spring rush is well on its way.
In late December or early January, the snow geese begin to migrate north. This year, I actually heard the first flock on Christmas Day. The spring peepers (small tree frogs) start singing in January, with the first batch tuning up on January 20th this year. Killdeer showed up in the pastures on January 27th. Alder catkins were dangling from the trees by the Clear Pond on January 23rd, while the pussy-willows started blooming February 1. Daffodil leaves are now above ground and the chard I overwintered is starting to put out new growth.
The forsythia should be blooming any day now. Garlic and onion sets are green and growing well. Time to get the first spring crops like peas and lettuce in the kitchen garden, to start the whole cycle over again. Never mind the calendar, spring’s here.