The Approach of Spring

It’s quite a culture shock to trade green New Zealand for grey and brown Canada. It is always rather depressing. But there are signs of hope in the landscape when I stare from my fifth floor window. Spring is slowly creeping toward us. At times she takes a step backward. A week ago, she delivered snow. Not much snow but still enough to whiten the ground. By nightfall, most of it had vanished. I think Spring regretted it and did her best to apologise.

I have been monitoring a patch of icy snow at the end of the parking lot, left from clearing it in the winter. The lump shrank a little each day and now, it has disappeared with only a wet area to show where it had been. The grass around the apartment building next door is slowly becoming green and starting to grow. I can admire its tenacity without having the bother of cutting it. I m amused by the number of ads for lawn fertilizer on television. They interrupt my baseball games. People want their lawns to be lush and green but then they complain about cutting them.

Of course it is cold. After 26 degrees in New Zealand , everything is cold. Let’s face it , 18 degrees is cold. I went off to the supermarket two days ago in two degrees. I had to find my hat and gloves to go with the jacket. Misty stuff wet my face and I was quite frozen by the time I reached the plaza. Of course, I was too hot shopping inside the building and then suffered from the change of temperature when I came out again.

The trees are deciding whether they will produce leaves this year. The ones at the apartment building are not yet convinced that it’s a good idea but trees further away are showing increasingly bumpy buds on their branches. I looked at the gardens in front of the condo yesterday but did not see any shoots peeking through the ground. I know there will be daffodils and tulips because they arrived last year and I took a photo of them. The plants I enjoy monitoring are the hosta along the driveway. Once they start, you can almost measure their growth by the hour.

The birds are flying around with some enthusiasm and the squirrels are squirreling. I have seen them chasing each other and I assume the pursuit s is part of the reproductive process. One squirrel runs up and down our wall every afternoon. I am not sure why as we are not meant to be feeding them. Maybe he is a mountaineering rodent.

No matter what I do, spring will eventually arrive whether it comes with considerable rain as it did last year or with fine weather. And we will then progress into summer, commenting to other residents in the elevator, ‘Hot enough for you?’