Have a look at the first (and so far only) plum blossom of the year:
(I feel a little like Calvin announcing the first robin of spring…. surely someone else saw it first!)
Plum blossoms, or ume no hana, are almost as well-loved in Japan as the cherry blossoms. They are dramatically beautiful, and appear at the tail end of each winter. When the ume start appearing, you know there are only a few weeks of winter left.
This winter has been extremely cold, so the ume are just starting to come out. So far, this tree is the only one I have seen. I can’t wait until they start blooming all over the place!