After plenty of monotone, chilly days like that one, we’ve had a bit of a spring tease for a couple of days. Our winter wonderland is quite beautiful, to be sure, but the short break from frost and snow is welcomed. The sky is clear and huge and blue, and the sun starts the work of melting the mounds of snow. There’s a constant drip-drip-drip on the metal roof and wet doggie paw prints behind Cholula when she comes inside from a jaunt around the yard. It feels impossible that John skied down the back hill last month, Cholula disappearing under snow drifts between bounds behind him. After regular low temperatures, it feels positively balmy, though it’s never over 40 degrees. Nonetheless, I open a few windows. It is such a spring and summer thing to do, to open a window to let the breeze fill the house with a taste of outdoors, and it has me daydreaming about working in my garden. Occasionally…well, often… I forget about a cracked window overnight and wonder why the house feels colder than usual in the morning. The days are certainly feeling longer. I notice, as I tiptoe downstairs in the morning to retrieve Oden’s “greet the day” bottle from the fridge, that the sun is beginning to rise a smidge earlier each day. Two days ago, on a pleasant stroller walk with Oden and Cholula, I tied my coat around my waist and felt the sun’s rays kissing my cheeks. I made a mental note to stash sunscreen in the stroller for the months ahead. And yes, it will literally be months until spring has actually sprung. These warm, sunny days are just little previews of the in-between “mud” season to come. There’s snow in the forecast and the brown and muddy bits of earth that are visible here and there will disappear again under a fresh white blanket. And that’s as it should be, because truly, it’s too early. We need precipitation and it’s only February. I know that big snow means beautiful wildflowers and a long winter makes them even more dazzling, if only in my mind. Until then, here are some snippets of color that I’ve been making a point to notice, all around me. These little rainbows will keep me company during the gray days of winter until springtime really comes.