Fond as I am of winter, spring comes next as a favorite season and the gleaming gold of daffodils is heralding its arrival here and there. Just now, they are in bloom only in sunny places, but by next week they should be studding roadsides and gardens everywhere.

That hasn’t always been the case, however. Island winters were longer in the days before global warming. There could easily be late March snowfalls, but in those days the late Joseph E. Howes of West Tisbury, whose home was today’s Howes House, made sure that daffodils were out in his front yard on April 1, regardless of any cold or snow. Who cared if the daffodils peeping up through the snow were real or false? After all, April 1 is April Fools’ Day and those were simpler days when any joke was acceptable on April 1.

The tradition continues as the Up-Island Council on Aging, the present inhabitants of Joe Howes’ home, have a host of daffodils in bloom, miraculously joining the snowdrops on the front grass.

In Joe’s day, Prince Albert Tobacco came in cans and stores selling cigarettes and pipe tobacco would be inundated on April Fool’s Day with telephone callers asking if they had “Prince Albert in a can.” If the storekeeper said they did, he was quickly told, “Then let him out!”

Off-Island, zoos were beleaguered with requests to speak with Mr. Fox or Mrs. Wolf. There was no way of screening telephone calls in Joe Howes’ day and tobacco sellers and zoo keepers sighed, but usually kindly replied that they’d let Prince Albert out or that Mr. Fox and Mrs. Wolf were not accepting calls on April 1.

Times have changed and the weather has changed, but spring still arrives. Rhododendron leaves are uncurled and there are pussy willows to be found. Pinkletinks are singing at dusk. Osprey have been seen preparing nests for expected offspring. Water iris leaves have emerged from Glimmerglass Pond. Skunk cabbages have not yet erupted from marshy places, but they will soon. Rabbits, of course, are everywhere, acknowledging the imminent arrival of Easter.

On morning and early evening walks, I hear birds singing — answering each other from across the road where I am walking. Sadly, I never manage to see any (except turkeys and they, clearly, are out of season).

I have never learned to recognize songbirds’ songs. Once, I bought a clock where the songs of different birds announced each hour. Unfortunately, the clock had been made in China and the songs they sung were not songs of North American birds.

But that doesn’t matter. Spring has sprung and, snow lover though I am, I am welcoming it.