CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Spring is here! Everywhere I turn I can see the beauty of this wonderful season.
Outside my dining room window I watched a robin busily building a nest and then shaking her feathers after a brief dip in a birdbath. Pink and white dogwood trees are blooming and the yard is ablaze with red, pink and purple azaleas. The irises and roses are budding and promise many colorful days to come.
The garden plants are already heralding an early harvest as beets, lettuce, onions, potatoes, broccoli and cabbage are all peeking through the ground. The small patch of strawberries, so carefully planted and covered with straw last October, is blooming, so I know they survived the colder weather.
My friend Debbie Keener and I enjoy walking the half-mile trail in St. Albans City Park. Recently, the usual 30-minute walk turned into an hourlong walk in the park.
As we began the slight descent on to the trail, a crow monotonously announced our approach with "caw!" "caw!" All along the trail wildflowers are popping up, and we started counting the ones we saw. It is an oft-repeated game we play to see which one of us "finds" the most flowers.
The early wildflowers are abundant and we quickly identified several varieties: jack-in-the-pulpit, star chickweed, cutleaf toothwort, bluet, mayapple, golden ragwort, buttercup, blue violet and the wake-robin.
A couple of "new" finds for me were the toadshade trillium with its mottled leaves and the showy yellow-flowered trout lily. I have seen the leaves of the trout lily many times, but never the beautiful yellow bloom. The spring beauty is out too, and many shades of pink and deep red adorn what appear to be larger blooms this year.