Warmer temperatures are here today as evidenced by the snow fog in the back field. It has reached 47F. All is relative. The calendar shows clearly that this is the shortest month of the year but it just never seems to be the reality. Perhaps it is anticipation for the sight of bare ground and green growth which goes largely unrealized especially this year of many storms and deep snow. Maybe it is the continuing snow squalls, the frost heaves in the road, the ice in the drive and the start of mud rearing its ugly back. The cold, dry days of winter are not quite at an end and the walls of the house have closed in. It is difficult to step outside on this last day of February. Heavy rains and snow covered ground make it difficult to walk around the garden but I forced myself outside today largely because of other bloggers who are showing their tommies and their daffs. Granted these bloggers are down south and should expect spring sooner than New Englanders. Reading other garden blogs offer respite from my cold garden but they also prompt me to go in search of some sign of life. Surely there must be something outside which grabs the eye. The first thing I notice is that the snow is disappearing around the trunks of the trees, the base of the rocks, and the southwest exposed portions of the garden. The green hellebores are showing and if they did not have that foetidus (H. foetidus which means stinking) name I am sure Cooper would be eating them. He looks a bit guilty for thinking about it. I almost missed these little thin wisps of discolored iris stems emerging from the gravel garden. If it were not for the taunting inspiration of Gail of the tommies and Frances of the daffs, I would have missed them. I really would have missed them this last day of February. So I thank you both heartily for rousing me from the chair to go in search of a sign of spring. As you can see, I found several. March begins tomorrow with the promise of these little gems in flower sometime soon. What have you found in your garden these last days of February? There must be something that gives you hope.