It was only three years ago tomorrow that we had a string of very warm days – on March 21, it reached 80 degrees (F)! I was wearing capris to work all week, and on that day, March 21, I took a walk around the neighborhood of the school I worked at in Elmhurst, a  western suburb of Chicago. The trees were in bloom! ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

In a normal year, we would not see the trees in flower until mid April at least, sometimes later. (Last year we had winter weather until mid April!)

As a comparison, I also took pictures (as I do every year) of the first flowers that come up in my garden, snowdrops. This year, the first snowdrops made their appearance early this week, as the snow melted and the days were a bit warmer. Last year, they didn’t come up until the end of March. In 2012, I took these pictures on March 11:

snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012
snowdrops, 3-11-2012

I am always heartened at the sight of my snowdrops each year – it’s a sign that even if spring isn’t here yet, it soon will be!

I’ll be on spring break this coming week, and plan to spend some time in my garden, raking and cutting the remnants of last year’s plants to make way for this year. I’ve already seen the first green tips of other flowers pushing their way above ground. Daffodils should be be next, followed by tulips.

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