Not a green blade of grass in sight yet. But spring is definitely here. How do I know?
One of the first smells of spring, that comes with the thaw of months-long snow and ice is a sort of musky stench. Yes, stench. For the first 10 days or so that the thaw sets in, there is the stench of all the decomposing organisms (and other bodily products, mainly of dogs) which had been trapped in the ice since December, or so.
I smell this foul air, long before I can see a first bud or a green leaf or even a tulip's nodding bighead. And even as I crinkle my nose in disgust, my heart lifts with the joy of anticipation of sunny things to come.
Anticipation of things to come is always better than the things themselves when they do come. But the vile fragrance of early spring is always a surprisingly welcome accompaniment for this anticipation.