In some years, spring creeps in slowly and gradually, marked by an orderly progression of early flowering bulbs, Asian Prunus and Magnolia, followed by our native woodland wildflowers accompanied by native wind-pollinated maples, alders, and birches. More Asian species flower (quince, forsythia, winter jasmine...) and then our native forest trees release their pollen (achoo!) -- the oaks and hickories, in particular. Cedars and pines, although heavy pollen producers, aren't actually as allergenic as some of the other wind-pollinated species, I think because their pollen is larger, just like the pollen of insect and animal-pollinated flowers.
This year, however, spring is blasting in. Every day brings new evidence of buds swelling, shoots emerging, and flowers opening. The long cold winter has delayed progress of many herbaceous perennials, but they're emerging now.
And the overwintered greens -- kale, mustard, arugula, and spinach- after all the cold, they're primed to bolt, flower and produce seed pronto. Not in this year will they stay vegetative over a long cool spring. And the peas I sowed (optimistically some time ago) are finally emerging, too, to experience ??? hot weather, cool weather, rainy weather, or dry weather.
Gardening is fun because it's so unpredictable, I guess!