Clicking through a batch of photos he’d taken on Sunday’s sunny afternoon walk, J paused at a picture of a crocus. “I have so many pictures of this kind of flower on the frame already!”

White and gold

I know the feeling. Every year, I can’t stop myself from taking pictures of blooming crocuses, glowing daffodils, and unfurling tree leaves even though I have countless images of these things already. If you’ve seen one pretty flower picture, you’ve seen them all, right? It turns out the answer is no. Every year, I forget how thrilling it is to see the first crocuses, daffodils, and fresh green leaves of spring. After the gray days of winter, it’s intoxicating to see color again, and it’s exciting to realize we’ve survived to enjoy another spring. Seeing this year’s round of crocuses is like reuniting with old friends: “Oh, welcome back! Isn’t it great we all made it through another year?”

Extreme closeup

On Saturday, I chatted with our across-the-street neighbor, who was working in his yard for the first time this year, and we compared how our basements had fared in the recent rains. On Monday morning, I talked with another neighbor who was lining up branch-filled trash bins in front of her house, a spring harvest of winter blow-downs. “Everyone will be putting out yard waste today!” she remarked, and I agreed: this weekend’s weather was perfect for gardening, spring cleanup, or just walking around the block, with several youngsters having already set up the first lemonade stand of the season for the throngs of Sunday baby-strollers, dog-walkers, and joggers. It’s good to see everyone survived another winter.