I meant to do this yesterday, but got sidetracked so early on that I completely forgot.
The daylight hours have noticeably increased - you may recall I've pointed out (probably several times) how few hours there are between sunrise and sunset in the winter months, with the shortest day of the year having less than eight hours daylight. Dickens obviously wasn't writing about "the gloom of December" for effect.
[On the flip side of that - the glass being half-full 'n' all - we have something like 17 hours of daylight in midsummer.]
Yesterday morning saw clear skies for a change, and when I went through for breakfast - 7 AM - it was the first time in months I didn't have to turn on lights as I went. There was sufficient daylight to see my way.
I glanced out the kitchen window before I hit the light switch - and by golly, there's color out there!
The lingering snow-cover (not that there ever was much, really) has gone, the bluebell shoots are well above ground (promising a show for this year they didn't deliver last year), and there are bits of green all over. What caught my eye, though, was purple.
There's a small flowerbed, a sort-of rock garden, around the base of an old, gnarled magnolia.* I come from a long line of gardeners, but I'm the black thumb of the family. I couldn't sprout carrot-tops in a saucer without divine intervention.
*Yes, magnolias grow here in the UK. So do palm trees. Consider the latitude, compare this to what's growing around Hudson's Bay, and you can see why England is called a "green and pleasant land."
A few years ago, I spaded and shoveled and raked and cleaned out the flowerbed, putting some good-sized rocks in to see if I could (it is to laff) set up a maintenance-free, or at least a low-maintenance, area around the tree.
This part of our yard is the remnant of an old 1860s / 1870s Victorian rectory garden, and there have been many before us who have planted various things. You wouldn't believe the size of a couple of the cherry laurels, of one of the holly trees - resembles a redwood! - and of the bamboo.
Back to yesterday: on Saturday morning, the flowerbed was mostly brown with a dusting of dried leaves and a few twigs. Yesterday morning, there was purple bustin' out all over.
The crocuses are in bloom.
Himself got a picture for me. For those of you in the northern climes who have yet to see any harbingers of spring - hang in there. It's truly around the corner. For those of you who are seeing blooms beginning to appear - oh, ain't it marvelous! The miracle of spring. It catches me by surprise every year.
Have a good'un, Sparklers - carpe diem!