We've had a spell of warm days, with more of the same predicted in the coming week. I've been drawn out to the garden. Pruning raspberries, black raspberries and blackberries was the most obvious place to start. It is alarming how little life is evident at ground level this time of year. A number of honeybees were coaxed outside to explore as I was. They found me more interesting than much of what surrounded us.
Today I stepped out with a shovel in hand. I aimed to turn a few beds we had planted to field peas. We hadn't touched them since they were sown and the winter had flattened what debris there was left. A scattering of hardened thistles and dandelion roots, and a patch or two of various grasses, were all that stood to offend. The soil was heavy and slick. The sun hasn't had time to draw the moisture out. The tip of my shovel made contact with ice encrusted blocks of soil a few inches below the surface. The air is warm, but winter's fingers are clenched, gripping dark places unseen. I guess I've come prematurely to the garden.