Despite tomorrow's coming winter storm, there are sure signs that spring is just around the corner. Or at least the some trees seem to think winter will be ending shortly. If you'll look up into the branches of a sliver maple (Acer saccharinum) you can see the tiny red buds that line the tops of their branches are starting to swell and bust. Silver maple flowers are not as showy as may other spring flowers, but they do come much earlier in the season.
Another sign that spring is on the way is that the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) sap is starting to run. If you're fortunate enough to have a sugar maple in your yard, and it has a broken branch, look for a maple sap-cicle. You'll find these translucent icicles growing from wounded maple branches when daytime temperatures are above freezing, but nighttime temps are still cold.
As nice as it was to have a real winter this year, especially after last year. All things considered though, I think I'm ready for spring.