The warmth of our house's foundation and the eastern exposure make this the spot in my yard where flowers bloom first - not counting the snowdrops that bloom as soon as frost leaves the ground.. Here are the first blooming daffodils, surrounded by little blue scillas, that seed themselves everywhere.
Yesterday we looked out the window and saw a red-tailed hawk on our bird feeder. He was probably looking for a tender squirrel or chipmunk to have for breakfast. The big bird flew off before I could reach my camera, but afterward I noticed these purple crocuses blooming in the dappled shade under the gooseberry bush.
Traveling around the country, and even the world, makes me keenly aware that my little corner of the world isn't the most beautiful spot. We can't see mountains or the ocean from here. Our house is small and undistinguished. But there is quiet beauty to be found, if a person takes the time to look, in the steady progression of flowers and plants coming up beneath the bare trees. Soon the Virginia bluebells will nod under the maples, and the bloodroot and trillium will bloom in the leaf rubble. The ferns will send up lacy green fronds. From now until the killing frost in autumn the flowers will come up, then wither and die back, only to be replaced by others. The goldfinches at the thistle seed feeder are gold once more; I'm looking for the hummingbird to return from his winter vacation and the wren to return to her house. I hope I never lose the capacity to see the quiet and familiar beauty in my own back yard.