Poem 4–Winter’s Delaying Tactics

Old Man Winter doesn’t know when to leave;

His long nails are caught  in Spring’s lacy sleeve.

Despite her March winds, his grip won’t let  go,

His delaying tactics make her progress too slow.

The flowers are blooming, new green on the trees

But the temperatures still fall with each Wintry sneeze.

Temps rise each week  to a new average high.

But at least once a week, we  shiver and sigh

Let Go, Old Man Winter!  Please just say Good Bye!



Melancholy Snow

It was snowing this morning while I was riding my bicycle.  It was a melancholy snow, Winter’s last gasp at withholding Spring. Like a sleepy baby that was too tired to wail, but not too tired weep, the flakes slowly drifted down and dissolved into tears as soon as they landed. Despite a 34 degree temperature, even the cold could not summon enough energy to bite, lacking the teeth of a strong wind.

Spring and Winter had been playing a tug of war since February.  Our 60 something average temperatures show up about once a week. (If Spring were to precede Winter, I would call it Sprinter, but it’s more like Plodder.)  This back and forth time is where Winter is is trying to Wring every last day and night it can before it will finally cede to Spring.

snow-last of winter

Of course, I was riding a stationary bike inside, listening to music.  I could see the snow falling and melting, but it was not my face it was melting on.  When I went out to yoga later in the morning, it was still snowing, and that was when I knew it really was not that cold out and nothing was freezing.

bike by window.jpg

The Soft Day

When I went out to the car this morning, a gentle breeze caressed  by face.  The bird chorus was in a full-throated medley of chirps, tweets, and whistles.  The new smell of the season’s first cut grass lingered from yesterday’s lawn mowing.  A timid sun peeked through thinning grey clouds, casting a faint shine on the full pink branches of the blooming cheery trees. It was hard to believe that last week we had our only measurable snow storm. By last Thursday it had pretty much melted in town.

Cardinal feeding during the snow storm

On Sunday, we rode out 250 west to the Blue Ridge Mountains which were still white with snow.  The Blue Ridge Parkway was closed.  However the adjacent Skyline Drive was open. (While the Blue Ridge Parkway is free, the Skyline Drive which passes through Shenandoah National Park, is $25/vehicle.)  Although the roads were completely free of snow, it was still laying on the shoulders, fields, and forests.


Today, the only snow I saw was a black crusted mound piled up in a corner of a strip mall parking lot.

When I drove out 250 west today, all of the snow on the mountains was gone.  Many of the maples, oaks, and beeches were either beginning to leaf or seemed to desperately want to.  The weeping willow has been trailing long slender limbs covered with pale green leaves for a few weeks. (It is usually one of the earliest trees to leaf out in central Virginia.)  Because of our cool March, we will probably enjoy several plants that do not normally bloom at the same time.  Although the crocus seem to have come and gone, the cherry trees, jonquils, wisteria, winter jasmine, and pansies are now joined by Bradford pears, early azaleas, quince bushes, dandelions, rapidly growing tulips leaves, and even a few iris leaves.

Bees, Hoover and Lucy squirrel, several robins, wrens, cardinals, and sparrows have all made an appearance today.  Hoover managed to empty the bird feeder this morning.  Bits of left over seeds and nuts have created a mess on the back porch.


Helio’s Emissaries

St Paul Ivy graveyard

Helios gazed down at the winter-bound Earth

Frozen and stiff, lacking both joy and mirth

“Earth needs some color,” he firmly declared,

“Yellow should cheer the glum and the scared.”

So at the end of the two ‘Uaries

He sent down some miniscule Emissaries.

Winter Jasmine Boar's Head Inn

First to leave was Winter Jasmine

To fill the void in Winter’s chasm

Two crocus St. Paul Ivy Graveyard

Next to go were little crocus

To help new Spring to thrive and focus


As March began the meteorological season


Dandelions spread sans rhyme or reason


Forsythia bushes shot forth new shoots


Daffodil bulbs grew flowers and roots


Jonquils showed their sunny faces


Pansies bloomed in sunlit spaces

easter lily

The Easter Lily tall and fragrant

Was a welcome guest and not a vagrant.



The Earth welcomed these sunbeam guests

and wore them like it’s Sunday best.