Spring is doing its very best but is off to a slow start. The sun, when it finally shows itself, is strong and warm but there seems to be a chilly wind most days. Every year at this time I have to remind myself that the ocean works against us in the spring keeping us cooler than the mainland. Of course, we do get that great payback of a long wonderful fall.

Smugness is an unattractive character trait. When I succumb to it I am always regretful. It ends badly.

In the fall, I spent days on end covering each of my garden beds with hay. I carefully tucked it around each barely emerging garlic plant. I had hopes of simply moving the hay aside on the empty beds and placing a seedling within. No pesky tilling, weeding or fussing. It seems a family of skunks have moved in. They literally tore the place apart in just a few days. I assume they were on the search for grubs or voles. At any rate, I’m back where I started and have to replace several garlic bulbs.

I admit, I yelled “come on” to no one in particular. Also, I saw my first cabbage moth. What gives?

Worse news ever, though, several enormous raccoons make it up to my second floor deck nightly to eat the cat food. They are easily as big around as they are long. They actually climb up the side of my house. I’ve seen the claw marks. I loathe them.

I went through the potatoes in the pantry from last year’s harvest. Some had foot-long sprouts, which I promptly removed. I separated out the small and wrinkly ones and planted them outside in a new location. I put them on top of the ground and covered them with hay. Why do I bother — something will probably eat them over night. Cynicism does not become me.

On a lighter note, I’m quite fond of the metal artificial flowers tucked into the large planter at La Choza. If one must use fake flowers, then metal would be my choice. On Middle Road just past Mermaid Farm, someone has a four-foot tall metal Echinacea near the door.

Last week I mentioned picking some radishes so tiny that I ate the tops. Here it is a week later and they now have roots the size of peas. I topped off my salad with several. They can be planted in the open ground now. In fact, I’m planning to seed them and some carrots this coming week — can’t hurt.

I spent a good part of last weekend watching coverage of the March for our Lives gathering in Washington. I was impressed, inspired and downright proud of the young people involved. I cannot imagine the courage it took for them to speak in front of so many people. Their passion and commitment was overwhelming.

One thing, in particular, was of great interest. The students from Parkland, Fla. have thrown themselves into a huge learning process. Some have traveled to Chicago and other urban areas in order to meet other youngsters of daily gun violence, on city streets. Wow. Such a great meeting of the minds.

I hope they can keep up the momentum. It’s time for us Baby Boomers to pass the torch. Hope they can do more than we did!