Pussywillows!!!! Their fuzzy shapes were just emerging from the rusty buds, and they stood out bright and fresh against the colorless backdrop.
The funny thing is, today, with the sun shining, I can barely distinguish the pussywillows from the sunlit woods behind them. Perhaps they are a special gift to brighten dull days.
Today, warmed by sunshine, the snowdrops have finally lengthened their white blossoms to greet the new year of growth. They're not wide open yet and there are no bright colors-- we have to wait for the crocuses for color-- but the small, white and green flowers are the first bulbs to herald the arrival of warmer weather. Snowdrops look delicate, but given that they push their way through barely thawed earth and brave bitter nights, they must be made of sterner stuff than the larger bulbs that bloom later, when the weather is more reliable. Simple beauty, quiet strength, harbingers of hope-- I like snowdrops.