A few days ago I drove through one of my most favorite places to visit. Pine Mountain Settlement School is a beautiful, tranquil place, filled with historic buildings, paths, and lovely wildflowers.
Traditionally, people in this area look for the progression of spring by the “winters” or cold snaps that happen regularly each year. There are several.
First comes sarvis (sarvice) winter. These trees bloom with little white flowers higher in the mountains, but can be seen from the road scattered across the landscape.
Next comes redbud winter when the redbud trees put out their purple flowers.
Then comes dogwood winter, when dogwoods come into full bloom.
Finally there is blackberry winter when all of the blackberry vines are heavy with flowers. I have no early photos of the blossoms, but when the berries are at this stage, summer is at hands.
Some people include other smaller “winters” in the process. The good news is, after blackberry winter, summer is usually home free with steadily warming temperatures.