The little men next door summoned me to the fence on Sunday to demand An Adventure so we three ventured down into the ravine. While they, dressed as Spidermen/Ninja Turtles, were a bit disappointed not to find a komodo dragon to slay, I was modestly thrilled to find a bloodroot in bloom. Because it was late afternoon, it had already closed its white flower and wrapped itself with its frilly leaves.
Tentatively, ever so tentatively, I am starting to believe that spring has finally vanquished winter. The back garden, which we have naturalized to meet the wild on its own terms, is a bit like a spent battleground this year and we wander through it, picking up broken branches, removing ice-damaged small trees and searching for survivors. Jon's beloved fifteen-year-old rhododendrons took the brunt of it - many of them will not survive, but a few soldier on and are starting to lift their leaves to the sun. There will be no glorious show around the patio this year.
As you know, my favourites are the ephemerals, many of them bulbs, and in early spring I look for them on my hands and knees, peeking under the leaf mulch to salute their return but confining them to barracks until they themselves hear reveille. Every spring is a miracle in Canada, but it seems even more so this year. Our neighbour Gary's gorgeous lawn, layered with successions of perennials, is now in full crocus bloom. This recent painting was inspired by a single shot I took of his garden several years ago, and today I made a point of capturing multiple closeups of this year's blooms to save for inspiration on a future wintry day.