"The little windflower,
whose just opened eye is blue as the spring heaven it gazes at."
William C. Bryant
Antonio Vivaldi - "The Right of Spring - Allegro"
Growing up in Australia, the seasons we learnt about didn't quite apply as explained in the textbooks with the information borrowed from the English school system. Unless you were in Tasmania and the cooler areas of the country, the four seasons were not obvious. We kept the four seasons, in reverse from the Northern Hemisphere by date, despite the fact that the weather failed to shape up to the labels. Depending where you were in the Antipodes, there could be more than four seasons in a year and the variations in temperature could be subtle or extreme.
In Austria, the seasons are very much as I learnt, even though they don’t happen all at once, or by date, there are obviously four of them. In the “wild” and uncultivated areas, spring occurs slowly and in phases. There can also be a variance throughout the country, when it commences. It starts in the valleys and the sheltered places and slowly moves upwards, with the thaw, into the mountains. The cultivated gardens found in country and urban areas are different story of spring.
Working in Vienna, away from the Alps, I have seen the signs of spring, in the cultivated gardens and window boxes of the city, since early to mid February. Coming home to the Alps, there is much the same going on in gardens, in window boxes and at the cemeteries. Spring is just happening a little later down here. There is industrious activity by the avid gardeners, who are purchasing, preparing and planting for spring and coming summer. The trees are budding, while the bulb flowers are exploding into colour.
"n winter, I plot and plan.
In spring, I move."
The loveliest of the spring activity is the uninterrupted work of Nature herself. Yesterday, I witnessed this work while walking along a path, leading by the forest, into the forest itself and across the fields. The spring wildflowers are making their yearly début. The low growing wildflowers, protected by their taller cousins, the trees, dot the forest floor like flowers on an old fashion carpet or nestle in sheltered places, shyly peeking at curious wanderers. Spring has sprung in the Alpine valleys and even in the cooler higher reaches, some intrepid flowers have braved the cold and made their appearance on Mother Earth’s stage. Nature at her best and the camera fails to do justice in witnessing the stars of spring’s symphony in the “flesh”, as they rise to the glory of spring.
"Spring has returned.
The Earth is like a child that knows poems."
Rainer Maria Rilke