Cusp of spring

My favorite garden center opened for the season yesterday. I picked up one pot each of forced narcissus and hyacinths to put in my front window. No reason, really, except that I want something colorful to look at while the hickory and elm trees outside are still looking drab.

A few more weeks and the drab of winter will be past. Buds are swelling. I walked in Concord today on a trail along the Merrimack River. Around me were bare shrubs, bare trees, and fields of corn stubble. But something further away caught my eye: an island in the middle of the meandering river, with trees adorned with cloud-like pale-red streaks. Maples, of course, flowering earlier than all the other trees. Delightful.

Early April, Merrimack River: looks like spring is coaxing the maples along. Ellen Kolb photo.

The trail was in good shape, with very little mud. That’s not the case everywhere in southern New Hampshire, and mud season makes it challenging for me to pick good places to walk. The bugs aren’t out in force yet, though, which is a plus.

Soon I won’t have to look past my yard for flowering trees and unfolding leaves. That means my spring allergies will soon flare up. Worth it, though.

For now, I like being on the cusp of spring. The tom turkeys in my neighborhood are mightily displaying their plumage in an attempt to impress the hens. My neighbor on the sunnier side of the street is tending to the gorgeous little patch of crocuses blooming in her yard. The herons are back at their rookery. And of course the peepers are out now – the tiny tree frogs whose springtime call sounds like a chorus of little bells.