Beware the Vineyard in March. Yesterday was all warm sunshine and bright colors. Today it has turned gray and cold, the wind off the water full of sharp edges. No wonder daffodils are so hardy — they need to be. After a mild winter, spring has arrived by the calendar but with it comes the stark reminder that spring on the Island is so often just a state of mind. It can snow. Or not. And we can accept it. Or not.

Mostly we do. Because there are pussy willows in the swamps and green things poking up beneath bare hedgerows and children out on bicycles (winter coats and gloves still required). The nature writer Hal Borland said this about March:

“March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice. She knows when the first shadbush will blow, where the first violet will bloom, and she isn’t afraid of a salamander. She has whims and winning ways. She’s exasperating, lovable, a terror-on-wheels . . . .

“March is the gardener impatient to garden; it is the winter-weary sun seeker impatient for a case of spring fever. March is February with a smile and April with a sniffle. March is a problem child with a twinkle in its eye.”