You know how I always go on about not liking February?

This morning it was clear and sunny, cold but vivid.  The stubborn patches of snow that have clung to the north facing sides of the hills up on the ridge have almost gone.  You can just see a paler smudge which is the last of the snow on the north side of Moel Arthur, the highest point in this picture.

The sky behind the twisted willow was unbelievably blue.

The very last blooms cling to the witch hazel like shreds of bright tissue paper.

I moved some globe artichokes which I had grown from seed in the autumn.  They languished looking very unhappy for a while but today they seemed to have shaken off their uncertainty about their new position and were shining in the sun.
Even the bark of the big sycamore looked strange and beautiful in the clear light.
I wonder how long it will be before the oak trees leaf?  I always do this, watching and waiting for signs, longing for spring.  Perhaps I should remind myself that in its way that is wishing my life away.  Let's just be here now, for now.


  1. I think it can be surprisingly difficult to 'be here now'. I am always going on at my husband about it but truth be told I am just as bad. I think making a practice of noticing nature and the seasons helps, just as you do here. I don't know how people exist who don't care about nature or notice it.

  2. Yes, but one of the best parts about being "here now" is anticipating and celebrating each new sign of nature moving through the circle of life!

    I think that saying "my life will be perfect as soon as I (get that job, make that money, marry so and so, live in that neighborhood)" is wasting life.

    But enjoying your garden and going out every day to see the signs of new growth? That's one of the most wonderful things ABOUT now!

  3. I have had a wonderful week in the here and now - made possible by the glorious weather we have had, so I could spend every day in the garden ... which helps me be here, now, otherwise in my head I spend ALL my time in the future (will my seeds grow, shall I grow ... what will I do if ....)

    PS, I was very touched by your response to my comment on your why do I garden post
    It brought tears to my eyes, in a good way. Thank you

  4. I chide myself each year for missing those first sings and wonder with delight when the trees seem to sudddenly appear in the spring finery and te winter has fled.

  5. Like you, I long for spring and can't wait for its arrival--for me, it only has to do with wanting warmer weather! While where I live we are buried under snow, I saw a bluebird today, and know that spring is on its way!

  6. That awakening did seem a little closer today. Yes, the sky was blue and in the sun it was actually warm....but I feel there is a while to go yet. Quite agree let's get pleasure from what there is and while we can.

  7. The sun feels really spring-like today and there are buds on the magnolia and dogwood trees. We're a bit behind up here - the blossoms are all out downtown.

  8. Your descriptions are so evocative. You make me come over all 'naturey' and, as my OH will tell you, this is no easy feat.

  9. I never knew what witch hazel really looked like until now. I've only ever seen it in a bottle before...

  10. Sue - you are so right. Everyone says it trippingly as if it were easy but I at least am always busy looking forward to the next thing. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes it just means I didn't notice I was here.
    Marcheline - I think you have it. Noticing these things is perhaps that rare balance between looking forward and living now. I can keep it up for seconds at a time.
    Karen - Ah I see you are another like me. If I didn't garden I would never be still.
    hah - I suspect I never used to notice when my children were younger as I was too busy to do anything other than speed through the day. It is good though.
    Kim - oh yes, warmer weather, what a wonderful thought. I would love to feel the sun so warm I had to take a layer off!
    mountainear - there is a way to go, you are right. By the end of the afternoon we were in a grey and cold rain. But we had the morning.

  11. Lovely blue sky Elizabeth, it must have made you smile to know that Spring is approaching.
    We will start watching the oak leaves change colour and fall shortly.
    I love Autumn and all the coloured leaves. One thing I have passed onto No. 1 son is an appreciation for the beauty we are surrounded by:- the garden, the night sky, sunrise and sunset, birds singing an approaching storm. Just sitting still and observing. It's something special to be able to appreciate these things today in such a fast paced society.

  12. Such beautiful colours in the first photo - when one does get a sunny February day the hills do look so crisp and clear.

  13. Such lovely photos. It's easy to miss the little things when all I'm thinking of is how cold it is. But I did notice a few tiny green leaf buds on my early cherry, so maybe there is Spring on its way.

  14. oh my. if this was what february was like here, it might be my favorite month.

    the blue sky is the only similarity.

  15. Pondside - you are way ahead of us then. Buds on the magnolia would be great!
    Fran - naturey, what a good word. you can't really live here without going a bit naturey unless you never went out.
    Deborah - witch hazel is a really beautiful plant with a sweet, clear scent. It also flowers when not much else does.

  16. I wanted to comment on your today's blog but there does not seem to be a comment to click on. This has happened before when I have come to your site - not sure why. But I too love February and for just the same three reasons as you.

  17. Well I was trying to say what was good about February, but I couldn't find the comment box.

    First without February March would be much colder and Saint David's Dau would be in the middle of winter rather than the first day of Spring.

    Secondly, we should miss that lush blast of winter sunshine at the beginning of the monh otherwise known as the 'false spring.'

    Thirdly, there would be no Valentine's Day - though on second thoughts old Valentine has rather let his day get out of hand.

    Fourthly, it is Theo's birth month and therefore special.

    Fifthly, you can just feel everything in the garden is poised like a crouching leopard and just ready to SPRING!

  18. Like Fennie I too searched for the comments tab - just wanted to say I agree with all your 'good' points - but would add that as February is my birth month it will always be special for me - in a good way.

  19. Like Fennie I too searched for the comments tab - just wanted to say I agree with all your 'good' points - but would add that as February is my birth month it will always be special for me - in a good way.


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