Spring is almost here!

Spring is a week away, but the garden is already showing signs of life. I believe the leaves above are crocuses, though I often forget what the previous tenants planted. These beautiful leaves are growing throughout our backyard and are so much prettier than the ugly brown grass.

Last weekend, I purchased a new digital camera, a nice Canon SLR. I wanted to get it before our vacation, though it is not expressly for that purpose. In college, I majored in printmaking, but a good chunk of my studio narrative was focused on photography. I'm fussy, and point & shoots frustrated me. My previous camera, a little Olympus purchased in 2002, wasn't very high quality and showing limitations. SLR's are a lot cheaper now than they were 6 years ago, and I still have some money to spend, so I figured why not?

Me and the camera:

Why make note of this? Well, hopefully a better camera means better photos of the garden. I'll actually be able to get a close-up that isn't blurry and doesn't need to be developed in order to share.

I've already taken a ridiculous number of photos, but today I thought I'd focus on gearing up for spring. I went into the raised bed with the overwintering carrots, removed all the straw (which now covers the bald patches on the garden paths), and found a few tiny, misshapen carrots:

Though I amended the soil with sand on my second round of planting, I don't believe the younger carrots had enough time to grow or the right conditions for it to matter.

Carrots this year won't be planted until after our vacation in April. I chose 2 varieties, one ideal for early use and the other ideal for storage. Many storage carrots can be picked for early use, but not all early varieties can withstand the cold as well as storage varieties. Makes sense. One thing I learned last year, despite my lack of abundant yield last year, is that garden-grown carrots in their early phase are better-tasting than any carrot from a grocery store. The texture is softer, but the taste is so much sweeter. These carrots, which have been growing through the winter under 6 inches of straw, feel more like grocery store carrots, hard and thick. The taste is not as sweet, but it's still fresher.

Fresh carrots are among the multitude of reasons why I can't wait for spring.