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March on the march

It's the capricious month. March Madness may mean basketball to thousands of people, but it works for just about everything else this month, too. The clock jumps, for instance, and the body clock -- albeit invisibly -- takes a day or two to move into the change. The weather jumps even more. Blizzard or mud are the extreme choices with a bet on plenty of ice in between. The dog prances along, caring not for falling water, puddles under his feet or dirty paws. If it's white stuff, he leaps into the air with March madness to catch snowflakes -- and succeeds. If it's cold, it's chilly damp; if it snows, the stuff is heavy, wet and perfect for snowmen; if it's a bit warmer and seems colder, it's time to look at the 40 degrees, feels like 30 part of the weather report.

On the plus side, if the snow has pulled away from the garage foundation, the snowdrops are at full height and tipped with white. If left uncovered, they will soon pop open. Under the mugho pine, daffodils are poking up shoots through the thick crust of needles, and at the bank in West Stockbridge, four tulip shoots have made a decision that might be as foolish as it is welcome.

The meteorologists' hype (are they all really degree-bearing, board-certified meteorologists?) about spring continues, along with their dire warnings of flood, earthquake and wind. The fact is that for the moment, the driveway is gravelly again, mushy even, and it's safe to walk the dog to the road without cleats.
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