In a year of little snow and unusually warm winter temperatures, spring seems to be ready to arrive in Clarksburg earlier than it has the past few years.
Last October, startled by Clarksburg’s very early first snow of the winter, I thought we were going to have another long, snow-filled season, perhaps longer, colder, and deeper in snow than last year. But as it turned out, the early snowfall was an anomaly, not a harbinger. Little snow fell in November, December, and January, and the air stayed oddly warm, with occasional days of bitter cold, most of the winter. The week before Christmas in particular was disappointingly warm, rainy, and gloomy, so much so that instead of taking day trips into the mountains as we had planned we moped about the house and read and dozed.
At the beginning of February Lisa and I set out on a journey of a bit over two weeks, following a roughly circular route that took us from Clarksburg to Atlanta for a meeting and to visit our niece; Edgefield, South Carolina, to look at old documents; Macon, Georgia, to visit one of Lisa’s childhood friends; on to Texas — Austin, to visit friends in our old neighborhood and old jobs, and Dallas, to visit our daughter (and in between, at West to buy kolaches at the Czech Stop); then back to Clarksburg. On the morning we left, as we carried our suitcases out to the car, we noticed that some of the snowdrops we had planted along the front walk in late fall, which we expected to see bloom in March, were already poking leaves up amidst the snowless grass, and we wondered whether we would actually get to see their first blooms, or if they would all be gone before we returned home.
As it happened, while we may have missed some very early blooms, we were greeted on our return last week by blooming snowdrops and early crocuses cheerfully dotting the open, still snowless, grass along the front walk. The next day the lawn was covered by a thin layer of snow. That snow soon vanished, but before it was completely gone I took the opportunity to photograph the flowers as if they had just poked their colors up through a long winter’s blanket of snow as a promise of the coming spring. Perhaps spring is already here.