Spring approaches in the mountains in fits and starts. Days in February alternate between bone-chilling cold and balmy. Sunday was in the 60s and sunny, Thursday in the 30s with snow.

But the signs are here trying to trick us!

Our neighbors’ yard is dotted with crocuses. Purple, white, and yellow cups accept sunshine and snowflakes just the same. The daffodil buds are swelling and some flowers have already unfurled.

And then there are the peepers.

They started about a week ago and I thought they would surely hush–give up and go back to bed. But even in the midst of snow flurries, they’re singing. And their song says, SPRING.

Peepers are hard to see. Small and nondescript brown, they only grow to 1.5 inches or so. Of course what they’re singing about isn’t really spring. It’s . . . ahem . . .love. The persistent peeps are the males trying to entice females to come and mate.

They lay their eggs in water, so you typically hear them in marshy spots or near ponds. The same neighbors with the crocuses have a low, wet area near a creek. This is apparently the peeper equivalent to a sexy nightclub.

So while I wait for warm days to stop teasing me and the snow to leave for good, I have my peepers. They sing as I walk Thistle each morning and evening and the song I hear as cold wind slips past the hem of my coat is that spring WILL come . . . not the old-timers’ false spring, but the real deal with balmy breezes and open windows.