Regardless of the chilly nights, windy days and often rain or snow, the light has definitely changed. Spring is in the air without a doubt. This Saturday the clocks change. We folks who like to get up early call it the time of year when the night people steal from the morning people.

Last week I mentioned my crocuses had yet to emerge and the very next day some were blooming. These are the early varieties, aka species crocus. They are smaller than the later-blooming crocuses, the giants. They spread like crazy, often escaping the beds into the lawn and beyond. They usually bloom along with snowdrops very early in March or even mid-February.

The helleborus are in full bloom. I couldn’t bear seeing their spent leaves from last season encircling the flowers so I finally got the clippers and motivated myself to get to work. Honestly I’ve been in a bit of a malaise of late, what with the weather and the Covid hangover. It was wonderful to get back in the saddle, so to speak.

I spread some lime around the perennial beds. It’s been a few years since I’ve done it and I’m sure they needed it. I use the quick-acting lime as opposed to the pulverized or pelleted. It’s more expensive but easier to spread and comes in smaller bags. I confess, my days of hauling around the 50-pound bags have come to an end.

When I first started writing this column in 2007, I wrote about chickens one week and received some criticism that it wasn’t about gardening. Not one to ever respond to criticism, I persisted nevertheless. It’s probably time to revisit the subject.

I’ve kept a flock of chickens for 50 years and cannot see myself ever stopping. In addition to giving fresh and wonderful eggs and meat, they eat all the food waste and are endlessly entertaining.

I usually have a rooster as I like the wake-up call in the morning, and he will take one for the team if a predator comes around. Hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs although they will not be fertile. Hens, like women, have all the eggs they will ever have at birth. Leaving a light in the hen house on in the dark days of winter to keep them laying will only shorten their egg-laying careers. I would rather them lay for more years.

Because I do have a rooster, often a hen will “go broody” and hatch out a family. It replenishes the flock and provides a few male babies for the stew pot.

By the way, simply not having a rooster does not mean the flock will be quiet. They make quite a racket when someone lays an egg or sees a possible intruder. Usually a dozen eggs can calm an irritated neighbor.

Recently, I noticed an astonishing amount of trash on Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. Someone must have been remiss in tarping their dump load since I like to think we live in a community of non-litterers.

Along the lines of being good members of the larger community, I hope we as a people can restrain ourselves from whining about the raised prices at the pump. I know it is a hardship for many and I won’t even get started about corporate greed but it is the right thing to stop supporting Russian gas companies. Hopefully, we can see it as a small price to pay to be in solidarity with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.

I know I say this often when disaster strikes somewhere else but hopefully I can put my minor problems in perspective.

Let’s pray Vladimir Putin is not as crazy as he seems.