We are presently in the depth of winter, and every year I look forward to the return of spring.
I love winter (July being my birthday month and all - winter means I get presents!). I love the cold and am quite happy wandering around in short sleeves, much to the annoyance of others (I get lots of comments eg "I am getting cold just LOOKING at you"). This year, winter has kind of passed me by. I don't know if it is the new place I have moved into, that it doesn't get cold like the old one (I literally moved 2 doors down, so microclimate-wise it should be the same), or if it is that this year just hasn't been cold. Most mornings on the short walk across the carpark to the office it is only just registering on my 'fresh' scale - a little nippy, but nothing to worry about.
But every year I can't wait for the arrival of spring. The coming of spring for me is heralded by my sighting of the first spring blossom. This year it was a flowering quince when out driving the other day. Now that I have seen one, they are popping up all over the place. I love looking at flowers - the magnolias are in full flush at the moment, and looking glorious, camellias seem to be just finishing, and have seen some azaleas as well (not sure when they are supposed to be flowering, cos what I have seen is pretty scant).
Spring to me is the time of rebirth - I am always reminded of the myth of Persephone, where spring is the time she returns to the earth from the underworld. Every year I hope that I fall in love in spring. It is the perfect time of year for it. The air carries the scent of flowers and the promise of warmer weather. The days get longer and the colours of the world seem brighter as the new, fresh green leaves start to appear on the trees.
I am lucky that where I work is essentially a large parkland, with a lake. I get to go down to the lake often and spend time with nature. There is a small patch of bush near the lake, and in spring all the native flowers come out in bloom. One of my personal favourites is Pittosporum, which has this wonderful heady scent. But this little patch also has other gems such as purple flag, and a couple of years ago I found a delightful ground orchid (nearly trod on it, being my version of discovery).
Spring also means lots of baby birds (I absolutely love ducks and geese - in the pet kind of way, not the eating kind of way - in fact I refuse to eat them, as I would refuse to eat cat or dog). And the lake is home to lots of water birds, which means it gets lots of baby water birds in spring, especially the ducklings, which are so cute. We have some roads running through the site, and I have been known to stand in the middle of the road and stop traffic to allow mummy and daddy duck, and baby ducks, to cross the road unharmed. (I heard from one of my friends the other day that some of his colleagues refer to the 'crazy duck lady' - can't help wonder if it is me they are talking about...)