From Winter to Spring - - Jackson, MS

From Winter to Spring

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By Walt Grayson - bio | email

It's the dead middle of winter one day and then a warm breeze blows up and then, next day it seems, clouds of Bradford Pear blooms erupt announcing that it is here again. Spring. Out in the country, runaway daffodils show where home places used to be. Left unchecked like this, they may cover acres, adding yellow sunshine to the last of the drab, leafless days.

Then come the leaves back, just a whisper at first, a green haze over the winter-brown branches. You're not even sure you're seeing it for a day or two. Then they dare sprout on out and reset the seasons, fast-forwarding from winter to spring again. Then the old standbys start blooming. This Japanese Magnolia in front of our TV station on South Jefferson in Jackson could be named Ole Faithful. It gives us and passers-by one of our first alerts that the sun is higher than it has been since last fall, and even the cold snaps won't last as long now as they did just a few weeks ago.

Neighborhoods start to glow purple with the blooming of the red buds. Some times they bloom alone in an otherwise stand of baron tree branches. But in no time the leaves around join in with them and the world takes on the color of Easter eggs.

Oaks are blooming. That adds to the color coming back into the cheeks of nature. And the maples are putting on seeds. They'll be helicopterng all over the place soon as they start to dislodge and float on warm breezes. The pines are about to pollinate, too. You'll know when they do because everybody will be driving a yellow car for a few days.

The season pays you back for the hard work you did last fall of setting out bulbs. Or one fall years ago. Or someone set them out some fall some time. You plant the bulb first, and see nothing for months. But then, this time of year they bloom. You don't get flowers if you wait to plant them until blooming time. Or forget to plant them at all.

Daddy watched for the Carolina Jasmine. To him, when it bloomed that was spring again. You may have another indicator. The dogwood is budding and will be next. And this yard in the Belhaven neighborhood already has azaleas. Only thing left to do is dust off the front porch swing, get the ice tea ready to sit and watch the rest of it unfold.

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