Weeks of icy cold. A frozen lake. Thawed and "melted" leaves on winter plants. But now it has rained, a spring rain even though it is still January. Spring because it thawed the ground and sent warmer temperatures our way. Spring rain because now all the cold is forgiven. I went out to check on the condition of our yard today, wearing a sweatshirt, comfortable in the sun. Winter is over in the sense that we will get wonderful days like today to perk us up between the cold ones which will continue to come for a few more months. That's how I described spring to Bug. Spring is when the weather changes every day and the warm jacket you need in the morning can be put in your backpack in the afternoon. (And spring is when kids lose jackets.)
The yard is forgiving. The bulbs are beginning to peek up through the leaves. I should put more mulch on them before the next freeze or the leaves will yellow. The soil was moist enough to allow me to pull some green onions I noticed in the yellow grass. (Yes, I grow chives. But not in my grass.) The Lambs Ear, the soft and tender-looking leaves, are unbruised and undamaged from the cold. The varigated vinca was unbothered by the cold. The lettuce which I had given up on growing, as I gave up on spinach and swiss chard in the same bed, is perky and green. Maybe we'll even get a salad soon. The pansies, the winter mainstay here, came out of their weeks of hibernation to continue their bloom cycles as if they'd never paused. I smoothed away the squirrel holes which are always between them. Soon, tulips and daffodils will rise out of that planter (and oak trees, I suspect) and hot pink and yellow will join the purple pansies to show us the true colors of spring. All is forgiven.
The pansies are currently sharing the planter with these stained glass yellow flowers made by my dad. I'll put them in a new spot to give a shot of color somewhere else when the planter gets full.