Well, here we are just past the vernal equinox. Astronomical spring began on Sunday, March 20. Honestly, everyone is feeling it. I saw some young folks in shorts and flip flops.

My friend from childhood, Sandy Woods, and I used to be the first ones in town (Rew, Pa.) to go barefoot. Most of the old people shook their heads at us. Sadly, I’ve joined the ranks of those elders. I’m still in long underwear, for Pete’s sake!

I probably mentioned this several years in a row but that’s never stopped me. I brought in several branches from my red quince to force. They have bloomed but are pure white. I cannot figure out why. The purple lilacs will be lime green when forced inside. Another of nature’s mysteries.

Since nature has come up, I guess I could ponder another “nature is grand” event.

I received some old red twig dogwood branches recently that had been bundled last fall and left to benign neglect. They were still colorful, so I chopped a foot off the bottom and placed them in the water with the aforementioned quince branches. They have all sprouted leaves. How can that be possible? I’m hoping they will develop some roots and I can put some in the shrub border.

Red twigs are a shrub with four-season interest: blooming in spring, variegated leaves in summer, berries in fall, and especially nice bright red twigs in winter.

I spent some time working outdoors and got a little sunburned. I forgot how much stronger the sun is becoming this month.

I am forever grateful to have a small unheated greenhouse attached to my house. Big thanks goes out to son Jeremiah for building it years ago.

I’ve been busy seeding and transplanting everything that can take a freeze since nights are still chilly and I don’t heat the area. It is, however, warm and cozy during the sunny late afternoons. I think it is by far my favorite task in the garden year. There is still hope before I put the little plants outside to withstand the elements and various critters.

The deer have already been munching on the just-barely emerging day lilies.

I’ve been puttering around the kitchen, preparing food from my dwindling supply from last summer’s garden. A pot of black-eyed peas that I grew, dried and stored in glass jars is bubbling along with onions, garlic and shallots still firm after sitting on the counter since harvest.

I cannot help but think about the millions of displaced Ukrainians who have left home without so much as a favorite cooking pot.

Ukraine is the bread basket of Europe. It is a major supplier of the world’s wheat and the largest exporter of sunflower oil. Its exports of corn, wheat and barley are second only to those of the U.S.

Naturally, a global thinker is worried about food prices as well as gasoline since the Russian oil sanctions. I’m thinking more in terms of the individual Ukrainian. Here I am, happily planning this year’s vegetable garden and those people will not be able to plant this year if they even survive.

Never mind the devastation to the fields as a result of bombing and tank pollution.

Years ago I saw a printed business card that read “Don’t Make Me Come Down There.” It was signed “God!”