The tables come up from the basement and settle under the wide upstairs window. The cut-off milk cartons come out of the garage. The mailman has been delivering seed orders for some time now, bags of potting soil have appeared in the garage, and the clocks have been set forward to so-called daylight savings time, bringing dark mornings back to Michigan. It’s time to start seeds for the garden.
My all-time favorite tomatoes are Burpee’s enormous Supersteak and little Black Pearl. I start nearly a whole packet of each, and then a couple of new varieties and one of last year’s trial successes, to see if it will recreate its former glory. Since weather and pests vary every year, it takes time to sort out the champions.
My neighbor says she knows spring is coming when she looks up and sees the cartons in the window. I am happy to provide this sign of coming spring, and I look carefully for others. The robins, which have wintered in the woods and shrubs, emerging only rarely, are out on the hunt for worms. Worms! Can the ground be thawed enough yet for worms? And the squirrels – are they digging up buried treasures from the fall? And look at that, the buzzards are back. Must mean the roadkill doesn’t freeze solid any more.
The earliest signs of spring – buzzards and worms. I’m still waiting for the first flowers.