Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Looking for Spring

According to the calendar, spring is less than two weeks away. From the cold that still has its grip on Metz, it feels like winter will be with us for a lot longer than that. Without the holiday lights, the streets look less magical after dark--Metz becomes a real city rather than a place of the imagination.

On the bright side, quite literally, the afternoons now have daylight. We've had some cheeringly sunny days, even if cold and windy. While some small fountains and ponds are still partially frozen, the larger ponds are clear, and you can see wind puffs rippling on the water. And, as nature's promise of even better things to come, crocuses bloomed in gardens along our walk to a Jean Cocteau exhibit in adjacent Montigny-les-Metz. Metz is a four-flower ville fleurie (the top rating), so the crocuses serve as a kind of mini-trailer for the full-length floral feature to come. By the way, getting these ville-fleurie ratings is no small feat; the attribution of a rating is made by a visiting jury based on extensive formal criteria. Of the 3,657 cities and villages with any ville-fleurie rating, only 205 have four flowers.

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