That was taken almost a year ago, at the beginning of February to be exact, at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in SE Portland. I used to live within walking distance, so I would go almost every day in February, when it was free. Later, I'd try to go to once a week, when it was free on certain days and every day before 10am and after 6pm. Once I just squeaked in at 9:48am, and I detected a bit of a glare from the woman setting up to collect admission money in just twelve minutes.
That green, green moss all over everything is what I see now, every day. Between the Japanese Garden and the garden where I work and even the old trees in Irvington, which are so big and moss-covered that ferns have sprouted from the moss, that thick green shag carpet on everything is something I've started to take for granted. Only yesterday, walking down to teach a class at work, with moisture moving through warm air that had been dry and ice cold the day before, with strong gusts of warm wind hitting my face and making my unzipped jacket try to dance away from me, did I observe that this green is something fairly new to me, something I would not have seen in my East Coast life and something I found fascinating when I first visited the Pacific Northwest three years ago.
Hmm, I got sidetracked. The title of this, Looking for Spring, refers to the sun we had here in Portland in early February, and how I wonder if at that time year, we will see not ice cold dry days with snowy Mount Hood visible, and not wet gray days somewhere between warm and cool (like the shower in my apartment!), but this: