It's been a long winter. Technically, it's been neither longer nor briefer than usual, and an argument could be made that the warm November/December we experienced on the Front Range should have made it seem short. But we who are connected to soil, and who therefore measure the season by light and not temperature, have a different perspective.

As for the edge of spring, there it is, above. Last night, a light, wet snow covered the ground and this morning, the mounting sun peels it back slowly, revealing the just-greening grass. All the ice will be gone by afternoon, except for patches where the sun never shines, and even those won't last long.

Warm days are forecast for the next week, though here on the eastern slope of the Rockies at 5,300 feet, only a fool imagines the snows are finished. We have at least another month during which they are common, and two (or more) during which they are possible.

But even so, we've crested equinox. I have seeds in hand. I have warming soils, a hill of compost, spades, rakes, and a plan. I even have the components of a small greenhouse, purchased after years of thinking about it. I'll be stealing hours in coming weeks to put all this in motion.

Meanwhile, there's pleasure in the perennials. The asparagus will soon break through the surface. Already, chives and herbs are greening up. The garlic I planted in the fall looks good, and maybe even better under a mantle of melting snow.