Friday, February 3, 2012

February's Spring Fling

February in Seattle often surprises with a sudden flush of springlike weather, a tease of what life could be like if only March and April would follow the same script instead of sulking and reverting to chilly gray. In many years, our red plum tree has burst into fairy-pink bloom just in time for Valentine's Day.

Today was one of those February days that flirts with May. The sky was a blue that went on forever. Everything seemed freshly created and sharply drawn. Chickadees chortled, starlings whistled, and Bewick's wrens prattled. When I went to check on my p-patch garden for the first time in months, I saw that it had been busy while out of sight, out of mind.

The vetch I'd planted as a winter cover crop had done its job, creating a miniature emerald forest that crowded out the weeds.


A few calendula were in full bloom, which made me really happy because they were volunteers, plus I'd always wanted some of these flowers and since they spread so vigorously I now have a founding crop to transplant into my own yard. What a cheerful sight, to come across these Mediterranean plants blazing on a late winter day.


Nothing much is sprouting in the back garden, but the witch hazel has thanked us for moving it into a sunnier location last summer by blooming for the first time in years.


There were also fluffy gray feathers drifted around the base of a telephone pole--evidence that the local Cooper's hawk had made a meal of a pigeon.

A nice bonus to this unseasonable dollop of spring: One doesn't feel compelled to roll up one's sleeves and get cracking on spring chores, because it's just going to get cold and sloppy again. It's totally a free pass to just turn your face up to the sun and turn your back on anything resembling work.