The forest floor bleak, choked with old leaves, winter wet. Against the evidence, buds on the wild dogwoods glisten, listen for a signal, lining up for bloom-time—when to burst and who'll be first? Every year, it's all according to weather, the wait for the heat-throb, wind fresh through the naked birch trunks longing to get green. The pressure's on, like listening for a starter pistol, finger on the trigger.
Spring is wound tight enough to let go any minute. Overarching the ravine, the cedars start their annual scatter of yellow sexual dust for the next generation. The clematis resists her tedium of cold and brown, cancels h