Last Thursday, friends started sharing links to giddy five day forecasts, crowding out the pictures of home thermometers registering single digits. “The thaw is coming, the thaw is coming!” Tom Skilling was Paul Revere; social media the horse. I was unmoved. Barring a true heatwave, the shellacked snow pack would melt slowly—a good thing for the soil, watershed, and sewers, but a bummer for those counting the days until the flowers return. And it’s hard for me to get excited about 40 degree weather.The arctic grip did loosen Friday afternoon, as promised, and I grudgingly admitted that a sunny 45 is indeed better than a windy 15. But I was still moping about the bulbs, couldn’t imagine anything green emerging from the long buried muck for at least a few days–and that was assuming the “warm up” would hold.
Less than 24 hours later, I was jumping up and down on the sunny corner of Kimball and McLean. “Miguel! Miguel!!!! Look!! Crocuses!!!” We had to bend and squint to see the pointy green fingernails clawing towards the sun. I ran around, searching for more in the narrow sliver of earth now visible between the sidewalk’s edge and still formidable pile of snow. Nothing, but no matter. A day later, I spied the orange tulips that honor (and draw nutrients from) Bug, Miguel’s beloved goldfish. The earth has opened, I am giddy, and the show has just begun.
I planted snowdrops for the first time last fall, excited for something to bloom before the crocuses. Do I remove the snow to see what is below, or wait it out?