If there were crocus blossoms below the surface of what seemed like a permanent layer of snow, no one knew.
As March arrived, snow and gray skies prevailed, as they have for weeks.
But when Sunday brought a glimpse of blue skies and the promise that spring would come, people hurried out to relish it.
Horses at Southdown Farm, restricted to their stalls for weeks, were freed, saddled, and taken on trails still covered with slush.
Good thing. By Monday, it was cold again.
Another round of snow days last week caused another hiccup in an already unusual academic year in which natural and manmade events have conspired to work against routine.
Fairfax County public schools were closed both Thursday and Friday in anticipation of snow. It did fall, but by comparison with the two feet that accumulated in Great Falls on the President’s Day weekend, it was not really a big deal.
The final snow that did fall measured between two to four inches, hardly enough to plow.
Yet even the allure of sledding down a hill started to wear off for some, who wanted life to return to normal.
"I'm anxious to get back to school, but you've got to make the best of it. Might as well enjoy it," said Catherine Browning, before she sped down a snow-covered slope at Nottaway Park in Vienna.
A history teacher at Oakton High School, Browning had given her students a lot reading and Web work to do before the latest snow came. "Like everybody, you just assume there's going to be a snow day,” she said.
The long-anticipated Feb. 27 meeting of the Fairfax County School Board, where school boundaries were to be decided, was postponed for four days, but it was rescheduled for Monday night.
At press time, the four-day weather forecast was predicting temperatures in the 40s and 50s by day.
But snow was mentioned as a possibility for Thursday night, Mar. 6.