Islanders needed no reminder this week about the fickle ways of March when they were treated to a breathtaking arctic blast accompanied by high winds that rattled windows and cancelled ferries. Monday marked the official start of meteorological spring, but it’s not time to put away the mittens and mufflers yet.

Still, the natural world is beginning to stir and soften around the edges. Hardy snowdrops and crocuses are pushing up through cold earth in south-facing dooryards, and the light lingers past six o’clock these days. Up-Island, a young bald eagle has been making the rounds in places where treetops tower over old farm fields. Good hunting territory, no doubt. The majestic eagle is a new friend on late-winter walks, socially distanced of course.

In still-bare gardens, forsythia and quince are ready to be cut and brought indoors for forcing. They are the first real flowers of spring, cheering us on from glass jars on the kitchen table.

A new season beckons.