I followed one of our cats, Jelly, outside this morning. There’s almost no snow left, and we’ve all been talking about spring this week because it’s been so warm (it’s going to be painful when winter comes back). I bent to pick up a plastic wrapper from my sunny border, which faces east, and saw the first flowers of the year: lovely tiny bright yellow winter aconite. These grow from bulbs and spread profusely in milder climates, even in nearby New York State. But mine survive and bloom every year, so I’m happy. I have never kept track, but mid-February seems exceptionally early for them. The daffodils are pushing up, too, and I am excited to think that we’ll be seeing what comes from the 1,000 new bulbs Rachel and I planted in October. Yes, I am obsessive about bulbs; I’ll post photos of the host of daffodils in a couple of months.

Inside, I have yellow flowers, too: branches of forsythia that I cut in the snow and brought inside. So-called “forced” branches are beautiful, cheap, and far more ecologically sound than florist shop flowers. There’s still plenty of time to cut them. Anything that blooms will probably work: crab apple branches make a lovely Easter tree, forsythia’s grand (choose branches with plenty of buds), and I’m thinking of trying pussy willow, too.

karen christensen's corona typewriter on t s eliot's desk

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