I'm always glad when January ends, even though February is often an unpleasant month in these parts. We're almost halfway to spring, groundhog or no, and the evenings are already getting longer. The purple irises along my fence have begun to bloom, too, braving the still-chilly nights but being rewarded with bright sunlight all afternoon. This afternoon a feral cat napped among them, warmed by the sun, and I even saw a couple of bees. There are likely to be days yet when the bees will stay in their hives, but it was nice to have them visit for a while. Chances are the daphne will put out its scent sometime in the next month, and then I'll be sure that spring is near. For now, the end of January will do, especially as it was so mild. It felt as though January had stolen a day from March.