My home, where I am sheltering in place when I am not working at the hospital, is surrounded by woods. I have been looking for signs of spring, which is officially here. Tiny green things are emerging in the leaf litter. I have fond hopes to see a classic host of golden daffodils in the front woods, courtesy of a friend of mine who gave me a (free!) bucketful of daffodil bulbs. I planted those in October’s dark days last fall. Now I see their skinny foliage emerging — a daffodil sticking a limb out of the ground, wondering if it’s safe to come out yet.
I am also monitoring the development of three witch hazel shrubs, which we planted because our landscaper told us we’d see flowers early. She was right. Its flowers are sneaking up on us, starting as inconspicuous reddish blossoms that pop into little yellow stars, clustering on slender stems.
My woods also has a marshy spot. My husband constructed some little wooden footbridges to allow us to cross that area without getting soaked.It is a hot spot for early growth, literally.
Skunk cabbages — which to my eyes look like mottled eggplants as they open — are awakening. They make their own heat, melting snow.
Spring is offering many small signs of arrival. One of the things I learned as a volunteer at the Morton Arboretum working on the prairie there is that the more I look, the more I see. The truth of this never fails to surprise me.
Quaker query: What are small hopeful signs I can see if I keep looking?