When I talked to my brother in the Red Deer area last week, he was pleased that the weather was improving. It was to be minus 16 the next day, he said -- balmy compared to the minus 20s and 30s his part of Alberta has seen this winter. Not to be too gloaty, I told him we'd had the fifth-wettest January on record, with almost 250 millimetres of rain and hardly any sun for a whole month. I didn't say the crocuses are almost blooming, and the daffodil buds are showing yellow.
Here are a few scenes I've come across lately in my wet -- but very very warm -- city.
|The on-again, off-again lake in our local park is back, thanks to a winter of heavy rain. People seem to be enjoying it so much I think it should be a regular feature. One little girl (wearing rain boots) was wading in it with her dog.|
|The pier-like structure is the base of the kids' zip-line in the park. The bench their parents usually watch them from has its feet in the water.|
|The pink dawn viburnum is blooming in front of our house.|
|Elderly kale that has seen a hard winter is almost as big as a shrub in this boulevard garden box. It doesn't look very edible.|
|Crocuses ready to bloom with a little bit of sunshine.|
|The winter sweet by my front steps. It doesn't look like much, but the scent is tropical.|
|A batch of white snowdrops and yellow spring flowers in someone's front garden.|
|I always learn the name of these yellow ones, then forget it for the following year. But I know they're not dandelions!|
|This is how my brave little delphinium looked after our week or so of snow this winter. I thought it was going to make it -- perhaps put out some early blooms -- but shortly after I took this photo, it turned black and died.|
|Hellebores are a cheerful splash of colour in early spring gardens.|
|My neighbour's drift of snowdrops.|
|The earliest daphne, one of three different types I planted last year, should be scenting the garden soon.|
|My primulas are a little ragged, but they're on their second season, and I applaud their efforts to make a comeback.|
|I have one big witch hazel in my garden, but planted a second one last year because I want the scent in stereo. This is the little guy, blooming away.|