It was a beautiful, warm morning today and come noon, I thought to celebrate by driving to the pound for a lobster. Going home on a back road near a tidal river, I spied a splash of yellow on a raw, steep roadside bank. I knew immediately that here, was blooming coltsfoot.
Stopping for a close look, I was pleased to see the bank covered with the dandelion-like, showy yellow blossoms. Coltsfoot is our earliest-blooming wildflower and usually shows up in early- to mid-April. Last year it appeared in mid-March. And in 2013, it bloomed on February 22, 2013.
So just when I was feeling most despondent over another impending snowstorm, these brilliant-yellow flowers cheered me and gave me to understand that while it may snow some more, spring is on the way.
For another sign, a friend from the Belgrade Region wrote me that two days ago, he sighted a pair of turkey vultures. These, too, are unusually early. Turkey vultures follow the retreating snowpack north. Usually, we don’t see these until some time in late March or early April, at the earliest.
So while unsettled weather may obscure the sun, make no mistake: The steady onset of spring has begun and will not retreat. It may stall, but that is of trifling concern. Spring marches forward.