With over 2 months to go before the Spring Equinox I can already see signs of spring if I look closely.It’s the sheerest touch of red that begins to brighten the woodsy grays and browns that are so prevalent during December and January… and I don’t mean glimpses of a northern cardinals or the American robins who stick around even when the mercury stays huddled at the bottom of a outdoor thermometer.Some years, I don’t even notice this subtle change until a coating of ice highlights every branch and bud, reflecting the light in such a way that the scales fall from my eyes and, suddenly, I can SEE again.After that first recognition of the year, though, I can’t keep myself from seeing the vegetal signs of life everywhere I look.The woods are waking up, no doubt. The trees may still be in that semi-dreaming state but their circulatory system is pumping again, as the maple sugarers in the Northeastern US will soon be able to attest.Speaking of… I think I may need to have some pancakes for breakfast… a celebration of the sweetness of mid-winter and generous trees. An early morning walk makes for a hungry hiker!

Are you seeing a blush of spring in your own winter woods? If so, share your photos and comments below!

[Thanks to the following photographers for making their work available through the Creative Commons license: idintify media, Julie Falk, j.casey.oneill, Belinda Church, Mark Goebel, and Sylvia Chan© 2017 Sidewalk Zendo. Reprints welcomed with written permission from the author.]

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