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  The calendar has flipped, officially, to spring. The piles of snow (mostly) melted while I was on vacation in San Diego, though the wind’s still got a bite, most days. But this week, I was still searching for a reliable sign of spring: the snowdrops I watch for every year. I’ve been seeing tiny […]

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It begins with the snowdrops: shy and white, pushing their way through the frozen ground when the snow melts just enough to let them through. Then the crocuses – those tiny, fierce fighters, deep purple and lavender and sometimes bright gold. The forsythia come next – “fountains of pale gold,” as L.M. Montgomery wrote – […]

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Edging toward spring

The forsythia are late this year. I usually spot their electric-yellow blossoms toward the end of February: they are sometimes an early sign of winter’s end. But although my friend Amy brought an armful of boughs inside to force them in midwinter, I only spotted them blooming outside last week. The crocuses, my faithful little […]

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The City Crocuses Up they come—the yellow ones fierce as fighters and the purples shy and tender wind funneling up from the river blasts me in face and throat, winter gone, and there’s more, the walk to the subway today made me smile because others were smiling secretly to themselves, a few caught my eye […]

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The crocuses in that triangular bed across from my beloved Darwin’s. The daffodils tucked up against brick walls in Cambridge flowerbeds. The witch hazel in front of the Harvard Art Museums. Snowdrops tangled in the ground cover on a side street near my office. Something’s coming, Tony sings in West Side Story. Something good, if […]

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After this long, gray, lingering winter, the spring in Cambridge has surprised me, as it does every year. This is my seventh spring in New England, and each time it feels entirely new: the slow budding of the bare trees, the first crocuses and snowdrops, the daffodils sprouting up in flowerbeds and in glorious scattered […]

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That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs. —L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea As soon as the snow melts, I’m poised and ready: watching for the first spears of snowdrops and crocuses, the first buds on the trees, the first leaves on the bushes. Spring in New England […]

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After what felt like the longest winter ever, the piles of dirty snow have (finally) disappeared. We’ve had quite a few brisk, chilly days and some damp, depressing gray ones, and a couple of unexpected torrential downpours. But spring is – finally! – here in Boston for real. The trees are budding, clothed in red […]

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‘Springtime’s coming,’ he said. ‘Cannot tha’ smell it?’ Mary sniffed and thought she could. ‘I smell something nice and fresh and damp,’ she said. ‘That’s th’ good rich earth,’ he answered, digging away. ‘It’s in a good humour makin’ ready to grow things. It’s glad when plantin’ time comes. In th’ flower gardens out there […]

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(The New College cloisters. Breathtaking, and so peaceful.) 1. St Hughs, many times – for classes, laundry, Sunday night chapel (once), and for the tulip trees. 2. Trinity. You have to pay a pound, but it’s well worth it for the expansive gardens and dark, quiet chapel. 3. Balliol – once with Jeremiah, and once […]

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