Inspiration (And Distraction) from Subtle Signs of Spring

Star crocus, years-ago naturalized in the lawn, come back
every year, our earliest flower of the Spring 

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep.”

  – Hal Borland, American author and journalist

My garden promises that spring is coming. Winter lingers in Maine, and it meanders. For a few days, it might be 50 degrees, then the next day we’ll have snow. But now, after the surprise 8 inches of snow on April 1st, we’re rounding the final corner into Spring.

Sometimes you need to know what to look for, but the subtle signs are everywhere, and the garden is awakening. The view out my office window is changing, and I am both inspired and distracted!

Wild strawberries are one of the first green signs of Spring;
soon these will be everywhere! The tiny berries are a delicacy
that are not nearly as sweet as their cultivated cousins.

I was thrilled to see this catkin on the Pussy Willow bush. We rooted the
branches of a bouquet we bought at the grocery store last Spring.
Now the branches are coming to life!

I suspect this is a mole hole.
And although it is not one of the happier signs of Spring,
it is one that we’ll be dealing with as we attempt to trap
the little critters (at least I may get a good blog out of it!).

It doesn’t look like much right now, but these are buds on the
HUGE Forsythia bush right outside my office window
(the same one featured in the wordsxo blog heading).
In a few weeks, this bush will be aflame with a mass
of intense yellow blooms!

The lilacs are budding out, too! These are the beginnings of
the beautiful purple blossoms that will soon surround this old house.
An earlier dweller of our house, their house, had the unbelievable
 foresight to plant these lovely shrubs along almost the entire
 perimeter of this lot. Beautiful and fragrant!

What are your subtle (or not so subtle) signs of Spring? Or is it already full-blown summer where you are? How does the weather and change of seasons affect your writing?


p.s. The quote I featured in today’s blog was written by Hal Borland, who lived from 1900-1978. He wrote books and editorials about the outdoors, and like me, he lived in both Colorado and New England. He is a kindred spirit, as evidenced by the title of one of his books: Sundial of Seasons.


  1. Leah says:

    I love these photos! Love seeing the green shine through the brown. It’s so imspiring. I’m loving just going into my backyard each evening and seeing new flowers pop up. Although it feels like winter today in San Diego (windy and rainy), I love the calm and sunny weather of spring before it gets to be the hot summer sun. Thanks for sharing such great photos!

  2. I agree; these are great photos…really a nice touch to the blog.

    I’m in the midwest, and we’re probably pretty similar to your area for changes of season. I’m so glad you put “Distractions” in your title because let me tell you– the more pleasant the weather, the more distracted I get from my writing. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. The good news is, I’m still a lover of pen and paper, so often times I sit outside and write. Um, that is, until it’s wasp and mosquito season. Then I switch from writing to melodrama, and go running into my house, like the big chicken that I am. (I annoy myself with my bug phobia, but I’m working on it. :P)

  3. Leah, I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos, and I’m glad I’m catching up with you in the green department! 🙂

    Barb, I’m with you on the bugs–we have “black fly season” in Maine, coming right up, that is terrible. Right now the warming up seems great, but give me a few months and I’m afraid I’ll be complaining about the bugs, heat and humidity!

  4. CMSmith says:

    ‘Love seeing the signs of spring.

  5. And me too! Hope the day is spring-y and light where you are today, too. Thanks for the comment and the visit!