A ferocious blizzard that brought down trees, knocked out power and left Islanders huddling by their wood stoves. A sixty-degree day that melted the otter tracks in the snow and tricked hardy spring bulbs into thinking their time had come. Bitter cold that seeped into every corner of the house. Another snowstorm for Valentine’s Day, this one soft and fluffy. Then more warmth, more dirt roads turned to muddy tracks.

These are the benchmarks of winter in this this year of fickle weather that has more than a few old timers shaking their heads about the increasingly unpredictable conditions.

Despite all that, slowly the Island has begun to turn its face toward spring. Days are longer, minute by minute. The light is changing.

The hundreds of migratory sea ducks that stage their annual takeover of sheltered saltwater ponds are restless these days, getting ready for the next leg of their remarkable journeys.

In the yards of the well-heeled estates of Edgartown, rows of boxwoods wear their winter burlap, like so many actors on a stage waiting for the curtain call of another new season.

It’s coming, that much can be predicted with certainty.