But there's a brief period of spring that I adore. We're right in the middle of it this week in southwest Virginia. It's when the temperatures warm up enough to wake up the spring peepers and their calls create a cacophony in the early evening. It's when the sarvice and maple flowers wash the ridges with white and red, heralding the incipient arrival of white dogwood and pink redbuds. Birds absent all winter suddenly reappear and baby calves seem to arrive in the pastures overnight. It's when the trees put out a flush of fresh, delicate leaves that epitomizes the color spring green. After a long, hard, bleak winter I walk around for several days whispering "Welcome back, welcome back" to the world.