In 1989, when I moved to Tennessee, I had my first real experience with deeper awareness of seasons and the foliage that accompanies seasonal change. When I first arrived in Nashville, it was August and the green trees and forests were lush and abundant. The splendor of that first fall among the woods is still a picture in my mind. I spent hours walking the trails in the woods that surround Radnor Lake (http://www.radnorlake.org/slideshow.html) and enjoying the glory of the changing leaves. Winter brought bare trees and cold so significant that I bought my first wool coat. Spring began to announce its arrival in mid-February, with crocus blooms. Daffodils came at the end of the month, bright patches of yellow and white on a largely black and white landscape. Soon after that, spring quite literally sprung into glorious, full-color view. I loved the freshness of it all.
Around the mid-Atlantic region where I now make my home, February is often quite cold. Snow is still common in this month, though February is also the very start of winter's end. Sunsets are growing later and evening light finally begins to linger past 5:30. By the end of the month, crocus blooms are almost ready to peak through the cold soil. Daffodils will shortly follow. Some mornings, the air feels cleaner and I can smell spring in the offing. That's what lies ahead, and I am eager to see it unfold. But for now, anyway, winter is still with us.