The daffodils are up and buds are showing. If I were more gullible, I would think they were telling me that spring is nearly here. However, those flowers have been so early for enough years in a row that they can’t be trusted. The small flock of sandhill cranes that flew northward over my house yesterday was a little more convincing, but it was, after all, a SMALL flock. The birds could have been confused.
More reliable are the woodland plants that are native to this place – the toothwort, trout lilies, blood root, and more. The earliest, the toothwort, are expanding some new leaves in the leaf litter under the silverbell tree, but the trout lilies still have not even poked the tips of their leaves through the soil surface. I pulled the mat of decaying leaves aside to check.
For me, the trout lilies are a reliable indicator that the soil is warm enough to plant peas. When the trout lilies are in bloom, I can plant peas secure in the knowledge that the pea seeds will germinate instead of rotting in the cold, wet ground.
In my yard, pea-planting time is also spinach-planting time. The spinach seeds take their sweet time opening up into little plants, but when they do, it is a joyful thing.