It was winter when we left. They had to de-ice the plane. We came back to early spring. This is a hazelnut (filbert) tree in full bloom. Those khaki catkins are a sure sign that winter is on the way out. And they give the bees something to get started on.
Camelia Japonica has been blooming since December, silly stuff, but the regular camellias are making their debut now. So delicate and lovely. And a single rainstorm leaves them looking like wads of wet kleenex. Years ago I took myself to the art-movie theatre to see "Camille" A couple of older ladies sat in front of me. They had a brand-new box of kleenex and a grocery bag, and they wept vigorously and noisily all through the sad parts. At the end, with one last honk, one turned to the other and said, "I just love that movie, don't you?" The other mopped her eyes, nodding and smiling. Then they carried their grocery bag of used kleenex out with them. Now, whenever I see camellias, I think of catharsis and emotionally purged middle-aged ladies.
Violets are blooming in sheltered areas. Hope the geese don't find these. Speaking of the geese, the adults have paired off. and started prospecting nesting sites. The juveniles are giving each other speculative looks, but still flocking together. I am looking forward to fluffy balls of down in the next month or so. Love to watch goslings.
Birds are gathering in big, singles-mingle flocks. I passed a tree with a murmuration of starlings on my walk yesterday. I love the old terms of venery, don't you? A murder of crows, a knot of toads, an exultation of larks!
And these brave little snowdrops are growing in our very yard. February is almost gone. My birthday is just around the corner. Let us celebrate it as the Feast of French Toast. Fried bread is gift from God!