The exact end of winter came well before the most recent thaws, arriving unseen in the coldest weeks of the year when flower bulbs and buds followed their own schedules and began to show beneath and above the snow.
Walking through town this morning, I found that some daffodils were budding, some even blooming, and a few tulips and hyacinths were up four or five inches. Snowdrops, snow crocus and aconite were already past their prime. Lilac buds were swollen, fat green and gold. Pussy willow catkins were cracking.