A black ant crawls across the sunny bathroom floor, the first house ant of the year. I'm at Winterberry Farm in western Massachusetts this weekend visiting my parents, where spring is just a bit ahead compared to southeast New Hampshire. The ants have not yet emerged at our house.
On my walkabout around the yard and down into the back forty this afternoon there was plenty to notice, although you had to look close at times. Last fall my dad and I cleared the woodland trail--it was littered with fallen limbs from the Halloween storm. This trail leads past a small hillside seep that is the first place to see skunk cabbage in March. The newly emerged leaves, known as the hood or the spathe, appear like tiny woodland sculptures, each one unique in shape and color pattern.