Can Spring Be Far Behind?…

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind

tete a tete daffodil - first day of spring

Have you ever wondered where the word ‘spring’ comes from?

Old English springan "to leap, burst forth, fly up; spread, grow"

“Spring”, referring to a season rather than the many other meanings of the word, first popped up in the 16th century.  Starting in the 14th century, this time of year was called “springing time” and then in the 15th century this got shortened to “spring-time”, and then further shortened in the 16th century to just “spring”.  The 14th century “springing time” came about in reference to plants “springing” from the ground and the like.  Before the season was called these things, it was called “Lent” in Old English.

The snow has gone, no hard frosts for a few days – Sunday and Monday were almost Spring-like.  Blue skies, no cold wind,  warm sunshine.  So I thought I would search for signs of Spring.

DSC_0006

“It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
Mark Twain

DSC_0002

  The miniature daffodils bulbs in my kitchen burst into flower – making me smile with their bright cheery trumpets.

DSC_0017

  As I walk past the reservoir the water is frozen except for a small ribbon in the middle – ducks and geese stand on the ice looking perplexed and bewildered.

SDC13857-001

As I walked the village I spied Snowdrops opening, shining white against the dark brown soil,  tiny harbingers of Spring.

DSC_0030

The rose hips at the front of the house catching the sun – a little colour in an otherwise dreary garden.

SDC13849

Hazel catkins glow golden in the sunlight.

SDC13863

SDC13864

SDC13860

The back fields empty of sheep fold over one another in  plump cushions of grass, the old sheep trails meandering through.

SDC13867

Look closely at the elder bush, the first signs of leaves unfurling, the earliest of the trees to show their readiness for warmer weather.

DSC_0005

A Blue Tit inspecting a nest box with a Robin looking on.

These are all good signs – and today I saw a sparrow with a beakful of nesting material – spring surely is on its way.  And just for good measure I have added this charming painting of Snowdrops – delightful!

Lucy Grossmith (heart-to-art) - Chickens in a Winter Garden

Chickens in a Winter Garden - Lucy Grossmith - Heart to Art

“That is one good thing about this world...there are always sure to be more springs.”
L.M. Montgomery

Comments

  1. I thought that the daffodils were outside until I read the text and was thinking that they were early. A good idea to have spring come earlier by having a pot indoors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had a nice succession of indoor bulbs - I have some Snowdrops just coming out and Muscari - but it does make me impatient for the outdoor flower show.

      Delete
  2. Hello Elaine,

    What delicious temptations of spring you have captured here. The tiny signs that winter is becoming behind us and that a fresh growing season is about to begin. This is, surely, the most exciting of times.

    And, how perfectly you have matched your images to pertinent quotations. Thoughts of spring have clearly been a topic for the best writers over the centuries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jane and Lance
      Thank you. The outdoor bulbs are all pushing through now but I fear it is still much too cold for any real progress - the indoor bulbs keep me going till that happens.

      Delete
  3. I love that painting at the end. Bits and bobs of spring signs around here too, although I could do with it being a bit warmer! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's lovely isn't it. Things aren't coming on as quickly as I would like - but patience has never been my strong point.

      Delete
  4. Who normally nests in that box? How wonderful to have captured the two of them viewing. I put boxes up but no bird has found them des res enough. I wonder if they are pointing the wrong way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a Blue Tit box - it faces south last year they nested in a box facing east - they do seem to spend a lot of time deciding which box to use. We have a robin box with a larger opening so far we have had no takers.

      Delete
  5. What a cheerful post Elaine, it made me smile. So nice to see the blue tit inspecting the nest box and as a bonus the robin watching. Last week we had some frost too, but now it's gray again, but not cold so up to the garden this afternoon I think. You must know spring in Dutch is : Lente. You told us a nice story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Janneke. Yes, the sun has disappeared here too - back to dull skies and rain is expected today - fingers crossed for the sun's return at the weekend.

      Delete
  6. It' s a very happy sight when Spring starts to show it's pretty face, isn't it Elaine ? Most people that I know love their gardens in the Spring and, I'm no exception. All of the new growth is that lovely fresh shade of green. I, too, have some miniature daffodils in my kitchen plus a vase full of white tulips and a pot of grape hyacinths that were bought by friends for my birthday, and all are still going strong.
    I'm hoping that Spring is on it's way and the snow can be a thing of the past although, I'm not holding my breath !!
    Beautiful photographs as always and a joy to look at and, interesting to learn from whence Spring came …. I didn't know all of that …. shame on me !! XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooo ….. meant to say how much I loved the Lucy Grossmith ' Chicken's in a Winter Garden ' !! XXXX

      Delete
    2. I'm just getting tired of looking out at a colourless garden - at least the bulbs and flowers indoors add a little cheer. Although it hasn't really been a bad winter here I do start to long for greenery and warmth.

      Delete
  7. So lovely to know spring is just around the corner.....lovely post! Suzy x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely it can't be too far away now - she says hopefully.

      Delete
  8. Lovely post and pictures. For me it really is spring once the first daffodils appear. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've noticed quite a few gardens have daffodils in bud - mine seem to be a bit behind, even my snowdrops haven't flowered yet - seems my garden is lagging behind.

      Delete
  9. Your post today Elaine warms my heart. Beautiful birds seeking nesting spots, daffodils in the window... sure signs of Spring.
    Alas I can not say the same for here which is why I find your post so soothing...
    Susan x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel your pain Susan - you just have to hang on a few weeks longer - then spring shall be yours.

      Delete
  10. Snowdrops - sigh.... I think your spring is close at hand. It gives me pleasure to see it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The signs aren't too obvious yet but slowly and surely the season is turning.

      Delete
  11. A beautiful season - thank you for the charming photos - and Mark Twain's quote will be nicked by me at once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure Mr. Twain will be delighted.

      Delete
  12. Lovely post Elaine. Oh I do hope Spring really is around the corner. Getting bored with winter now! P x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Patricia - winter does seem to drag on a little - a little more warmth would be nice.

      Delete
  13. Beautiful post and I like the quotes you have found....the painting is what I imagine my house would look like if I had one in the country, chucks as well...
    Amanda xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amanda - it is a lovely picture isn't it - an ideal house in an ideal world.

      Delete
  14. I literally think I belong in that painting! I am smitten with it!! And the history of "spring". Is so very interesting! When you lay it out all of the names make sense! It brings me joy to see spring starting to push through in other places even if it isn't knocking here. Just stunning sunlight photos pal! Happy day you! Nicole xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The day after I posted all the bright sunny pictures the sun disappeared and rain fell - typical!

      Delete
  15. Those daffs! What a cheerful lot. Love that shot of the birds checking out the box. Spring is coming indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do hope the Tits take up residence - one box had a nest in last year but she abandoned it - better luck this year, fingers crossed.

      Delete
  16. 'Spring' is an evocative word. I can't stand the American use of the word 'Fall'; why can't they call it Autumn like everyone else?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the American colonists of the 1600s brought the word "Fall" to them from England. Later, after the period of colonial settlement, "Autumn" became the favored word in England, and "Fall" died out.

      Delete
  17. I was reading the Magic Apple Tree last night and thought of you. This is the third time I have read it, I just love this book.

    The watercolour sums up everything I think and feel about the countryside........so charming.

    Love to see the catkins and your inside daffs bring a Spring to the heart..........

    It is always good to see the birds preparing the nesting sites. I believe they know best when Spring will arrive.......I watch them avidly at this time of year. Our Rooks have repaired the rookery and are now getting ready for the breeding season.

    Love your rolling hills and the old sheep tracks...........I wonder who walked the hills during the last few centuries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl
      That is really strange because I was only thinking of The Magic Apple Tree this morning about if I had only one book with me if I was a castaway on a desert island then that would be the one I would want. I have read it so many times now I think it has influenced the way I write.

      Delete
  18. I love the snowdrops/chickens painting. I wonder which bird will nest in your box? One year we watched blue tits viewing our nest box but in the end it was Wrens that moved in:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a resident Wren in the garden and I would be delighted if they nested here - in fact I would be delighted whatever bird took up residence really. Fingers crossed they like what they see.

      Delete
  19. a beautiful post,elaine.love the bird photos!!!
    have a nice weekend,
    regina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Regina - and thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  20. The Chickens in Winter is wonderful. I'd love it in my kitchen. I may have to look for a print. Will I find one? Little sign of spring here, yet. Camomile is carpeting the center circle. It always arrives early, stays late, then comes again in fall, becoming a bit of a nusance. I am always impressed by your vast literary knowledge, especially with your Anne Bradstreet quotation. She was America's first female poet, arriving here on the second ship, the Arabella, to follow the Mayflower. She spent much of her time alone in the wilderness running the family farm while her husand played politics. And she wrote poetry. It was years before she had children, all who outlived her, rare in her times. Not much else is known about her, but she does have a wonderful legacy of poetry. We read her poem To My Dear and Loving Husband and compared it Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet, How do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways. Were I still teaching my literature class, we would be reading those poems today and maybe trying to write our own love sonnets. Happy Valentine's Day, Elaine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ann
      If you click on the caption under the picture it will take you to the sight where the picture is for sale. Very interesting about Ann Bradstreet I didn't know that. I won't write you a sonnet but I will wish you a happy St. Valentine's Day too.

      Delete
  21. It is coming alright. I was walking round the garden yesterday and am just starting to see things poking up through the soil. I only wish I could remember what I planted where. I'm sure I put labels in... the squirrels have made off with them. Again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily all my plant/bulb labels are still in place - but we don't have a squirrel problem like you - although I'm surprised our five resident crows haven't nicked them.

      Delete
  22. I do love spring, even the thought of it makes me smile. How lovely to have birds inspecting your nest boxes - there will soon be fledglings :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spring has to be my favourite season - all that hope and anticipation.

      Delete
  23. I love the idea of springing time, it really does describe the season all that starts to grow so very well doesn't it. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's hope we don't have to wait too much longer for Mother Nature to spring into action eh.

      Delete
  24. Ahhhh yes....springing time is certainly almost upon us....how lovely to have the mini daffs lighting up your window sill....heart warming for sure!
    I loved that pic of the bluetit and robin, I've noticed a lot of bird activity too!
    A lovely post with marvelous quotes.....xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dina - gradually things are waking up - but the sun seems to have disappeared and dull grey days are with us - shame.

      Delete
  25. You are a harbinger of spring, yourself, with such an uplifting post welcoming the first signs :) I love your photos and the delightful picture of the Chickens in the Garden! I would stare at it all day, imagining I was inside it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Glo. I am ever on the lookout - everyday brings something new - long may it continue. Glad you like the picture - charming isn't it.

      Delete
  26. Spring is a month away for me but I have seedlings under lights that remind me it won't be winter forever. Even my snowdrops refuse to wake up. But this cheerful post is just what I need. I'm tired of winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to say that my Snowdrops are only just coming into flower they seem to be behind everyone else - maybe because I keep digging them up when I am weeding - I really ought to plant them somewhere safer!

      Delete
  27. I love all these signs of spring! I'm enjoying winter here this year cause we've been blesses with some wonderful snow. But spring brings me my husband so I cannot wait for it to come :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have been enjoying winter so far but our snow didn't last for long so now I am looking forward to spring, although the signs are few and far between as yet. It must be hard for you to be apart from Keith and that you are counting the days. It won't be too long now.

    ReplyDelete
  29. A lovely post Elaine and I did enjoy finding out more about the origins of the word 'spring'. It will be on us before long :) I do like Lucy Grossmith's work - oh for a little house like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anna - I do enjoy finding out word origins. Yes, spring can't be far away now although it does seem a slow process and I do so long for a bit of colour in the garden. I agree Lucy's pictures are naïve and charming.

      Delete
  30. Oh, I saw your cheery daffodils and I thought you had them in flower already! That would have been very early :-) I can’t wait for the daffodils to flower, they make me smile every time I walk out in the garden. Nice to see all the signs of spring, it is a good time to spring into action – I have already started.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, unfortunately the daffodils are indoors - mine in the garden are only a few inches high so far but it is encouraging to see everything pushing through. Not long now.

      Delete
  31. What a lovely uplifting post! The days are certainly getting longer and I am hoping to see some daffodils in the parks in time for our Welsh St David's Day (March 1).
    I love all your pictures, but you have done very well with the snowdrops photo, getting them so beautifully composed into a pattern.
    Keep up your heartwarming good work!
    Best wishes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pat. Little by little the light is slowly returning - a little more warmth would be good! My birthday is March 1st and I don't think my daffs will be out by then - we can but hope.

      Delete
  32. Love the nature more during spring. And the quote about the spring in our lives is so encouraging. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Spring has to be my favourite time of year - there is so much hope attached to it. Thank you for visiting.

      Delete
  33. Hi Elaine, so pleased to have found you! Such lovely images of spring and I love the quotes that you have chosen too. I have never given much thought to the origin of the word, so very enlightening. (I am looking for catkins here, but none yet ...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting - I am on the lookout for pussy willow - no sign yet though.

      Delete
  34. It is -25 here, and with the wind chill factored in, -32. The freeze air burns your face and freezes your toes and fingers. Oh if only there were signs of spring here! Still I am always encouraged to see that signs of spring have arrived elsewhere. Hopefully in another month, early signs of spring will make its way here too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Jennifer that sounds really really cold - I feel as though I must apologise for our milder weather. Take care and keep warm - spring will be here before you know it.

      Delete
  35. I like spring but I LOVE winter - I am enjoying a foot of snow in Kentucky today :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you love winter - if we had a foot of snow in this country there would be chaos - we don't cope with severe weather very well - I guess we just aren't used to it.

      Delete
  36. If we had no Winter, Spring wouldn't be so pleasant ...... I can understand that, and I so love daffodils

    Love your pictures

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jan. I agree - daffodils certainly say spring to me and when they bloom the whole garden seems to light up.

      Delete
  37. Winter has only just gotten started here and I'm ready for spring to come and soon. Biting winds and cold fingers just aren't enjoyable. Loved your photo of the bird inspecting the nest box. There can't be any surer sign of spring than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you don't want to hear this but our winter hasn't been too bad - some days are quite mild in fact - I know I'm just rubbing salt in the wounds, sorry - just try to keep warm and enjoy your kittens company and before you know it winter will have passed - and the growing season can begin once more.

      Delete
  38. Now I am depressed. I have nothing, nadda, zero, zilch, bugger-all in the spring bulb department.
    I've just visited 3 blogs in a row all displaying their spring blooms. Something is seriously amiss in the Tidy Garden and I have bulb-envy in abundance.
    Thanks for adding to my misery Elaine :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear Jane
      I don't have any bulbs flowering either - outside - the ones in the picture are flowering on my kitchen windowsill - so don't despair you are not on your own. Anyway it's a bit early to start wondering where all the bulbs are isn't it?

      Delete
  39. Spring's really just around the corner isn't it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I hope spring is not far behind ((( So much snow here in Nova Scotia I can't imagine it coming very soon. But, it is what it is and starting seeds inside helps. Yes it does..yes it does...))))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking at the pictures on your blog I would say you have plenty of winter still to come - but sowing your seed indoors is surely a sign that you are hopeful of it coming to an end some time in the not too distant future. Fingers crossed!

      Delete
  41. I am really ready for spring!! I love the paintng--so ready for snowdrops and daffodils!

    ReplyDelete
  42. The snowdrops here are all out now and looking beautiful but still a couple of weeks to go before the outdoor daffodils start blooming - I wait patiently.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the rise of the apple and the fall of the oak ...

Down to Earth ...

the sweet calm sunshine of September ...