Life in Cape May: Signs of an Early Spring

Cape May, NJ – When the chilly west winds stopped blowing this week and Delaware Bay settled into a  placid, deep blue, you just knew spring was on the way.

It might seem early to start looking for signs of spring, but then we’ve had an exceptionally warm winter. Record smashing temperatures in some cases.

Even though a new cold front  just arrived along the East Coast,  in Cape May, we’re seeing certain telltale signals that this warm winter is ending a little earlier than usual.

The streets might still be quiet – the tourists aren’t back yet. But when you see a bunch of Coasties jogging down Pittsburgh Ave  in their shorts and sweatshirts,  you know the tourists can’t be far behind.

Even before the robins start singing, there are other, familiar sounds of spring in the Cape May area — power saws and hammers are the true harbingers of spring around here. This week, Cape May Point was filled with them.

If you look hard enough, you’ll see early daffodils starting to open. Not too many.  Just a couple here or there. Like this bunch on the Emlen Physick Estate lawn on Washington St.  That’s pretty amazing considering these photos were shot in the last week of February! Our early daffodils don’t usually open until sometime in March.

If you see any early Spring blooms, take a photo and post it to our Facebook page! Because that’s what we do in spring in Cape May, isn’t it?  We take photos of the flowers and the birds and the ocean.

It’s reassuring to know we all made it through the worst of the winter, even if, like Cove Beach, we suffered a little erosion along the way.

It’s definitely time to go back outside and take a leisurely, peaceful walk in Wilbraham Park. Soon the park will be blooming with flowers and bustling with festivals and crafts fairs.  Those early dog walkers, wearing just a sweater, are a sure sign the seasons have changed.

Perhaps, if you’re looking for Spring, all you have to do is look up.

Blue skies, the deepest kind – deeper than a robin’s egg or a new hyacinth – mean winter in Cape May is so last season. It doesn’t matter what the calendar says. Look around you.  It’s Spring.

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About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak - a journalist, gardener and Cape Island resident - is writing a book.