It’s hard to believe that the freezing temperatures and snowfalls of February really were winter’s last blast, and yet, here we are. On the first day that the sun was out and the temperatures had crept back up into the twenties, birds could be heard twittering like spring had arrived before the snow had even thawed. And they haven’t stopped their chattering since—apparently they knew something we didn’t.
Over the past two weeks, the world has shifted into an early springtime. Snowdrops and witch hazel survived the freeze and were joined by winter aconite. Front yards and fields are dotted purple, white, and yellow with spring crocus. Delicate little scilla and spring snowflakes have made an appearance at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Daffodils and hellebores, the first of the more sizable flowers, have begun to open. Golden yellow Cornelian cherry dogwoods are blooming all along Magnolia Street in Tower Grove Park, and the very first cherry blossoms and magnolia flowers are just beginning to push their way out of the buds that have kept them warm all winter.
So move slowly when you go outside, and don’t forget to look down at your toes and up into the treetops: the first flowers are here, and there is no shortage of them. There will still be cold days, but now the hill has been crested: we are heading for the heart of springtime.