Warm Caprice

Photo: PK Read

Photo: PK Read

I was out running yesterday evening, and as I entered the last kilometer, I was brought up short by the sunset clouds reflected in a puddle. The air was crisp, but not winterly. It snowed on the mountain tops last week, but only briefly, leaving a sharp white line between the elevation where winter still lives above 800 m (2600 feet) and where we live in unseasonable warmth at 470 m (1540 feet).

Photo: PK Read

Photo: PK Read

There was the scent of early green on the dusk air, the sound of water running everywhere, and the official beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere is still a month away. On a hike last week I came across this bush bursting into full bloom, lambs frolicking, the air filled with birdsong, even as France and Switzerland are still in the midst annual ‘winter’ school holidays.

Photo: PK Read

Photo: PK Read

I’m debating whether to do some garden work. Sure, the fruit trees need pruning and this is the time to do that work. But it’s the other stuff – the perennial flowers that are already budding, the spring bulbs that are already handspan high.

Do I uncover the beds, untie the bundled bushes, get them ready for an early spring, only risk its capricious retreat?

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