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Sunday, March 12th, we lost an hour of sleep. I think I did pretty well, but I still yawned a great deal of the day. And now it's snowing again, and it is forecast to do so most days this week. Where is spring?

A memory came up on Facebook 10 years ago when some of my hyacinths had been uncovered for the third time. I recall that week because there had not been any snow for some time, the ground was bare, and I was working in my flower bed, surrounded by butterflies. And then it changed! Snow came, and it was very cold with frost. The butterflies were killed off, and apples and other blossoms were frozen. I only saw one or two of that butterfly species all summer. There was a scarcity of apples all over the countryside except for types which bloomed later. We sure don't want that to happen again.

The last full moon of Winter has passed. Native Americans called it the worm moon after the worm trails, which would appear in the newly thawed ground. Other names include a chaste moon, death moon, crust moon and sap moon, after the tapping of the maple trees. I like the last one best as it is a typical occupation for so many. Maple tree tapping has started in the area, and the sweet smell of boiling sap is in the air. Winter Break provides some opportunities for families to see this in action. Brooks Farm is one place this is happening. I hope you also saw Venus and Jupiter seemingly close together, as they are hard to see in one binocular view now.

One little critter has emerged already. Chipmunks hibernate in winter, but they don't sleep all the way through the season. It's called torpor. They retreat to their burrows and wake every few days to raise their body temperatures to be normal, feed on stored food rather than fat reserves, and urinate and defecate. One spring, I recall finding this huge pile of stuff on the lawn and, on examination discovering it was hulled sunflower seeds. He was house cleaning!

My first red-wing blackbird arrived on the 11th, the same day as last year. Often I haven't seen them till much later in the month. However, some friends near Pickering have had a large flock since before Christmas, so perhaps, like robins and cardinals, they may decide against making the long flight south.

Birthday greetings to Jacob Stewart,16. Jacob is following in father Jay's footsteps as a piper in the Legion Pipes and Drums. Wanda WagnerTennant, daughter of Ron and Sandra, also celebrated a birthday. Born right around here, she married Jamie Tennent, and they moved their Lawnscaping business closer to Lakeridge 23, just off Davis Drive, closer to her birthplace.

Happy birthday also to Eugene O'Beirn. Gene and Val moved north many years ago now, in the mid '60s probably and have raised their family there.

Gene comes from a very large family. His brother Eddie recently passed away. Best wishes also to a young man who has made volunteering a life goal. Joel Speers is only 29, but he has crammed a multitude of volunteer activities into those years. We need more like him. Best wishes also to someone a little older, Rick McKinley, who often takes worship services at Sandford and Zephyr United Churches.

Congratulations to Chandler Ball, who has been attending Durham College and has made the Honour Roll for the Faculty of Social and Community Services. A great accomplishment. Hopefully, we will see many more such announcements in the near future.

A number of people are taking advantage of Winter break to vacation. One such is Joannie Sine, who has been parasailing on the water near the beach at Fort Lauderdale. Yvonne and Garry Harrison are also in the south, and it amazes me how many miles they bicycle each day.

Mark your calendar for April 15th and 16th. Those are the dates when some beautiful tunes will be sung at the Foster by a quartet of beautiful and talented Uxbridge young ladies, with accompanist Jane Loewen. These beautiful old songs are some of my favourites, and I am sure they are yours as well. Watch for information on times and ticket sales. Conrad Boyce brings this for our enjoyment.

In May, the season of Friday night concerts begins. This year the May entertainers are looked after by Brian O'Sullivan and Django Djunkies, with the opening night by Ferrport Jazz, led by Doug Ferris, out of Port Perry.

Church today was at Zephyr United Church with Laura Kay as the worship leader. It was good to see some of our previously injured members out, and better health wishes to those still under the weather. Next week Wayne Reed will be with us again. In April, we are back to Sandford United Church with Carol O'Neil and Rev. Bill Fritz alternating services. We have been travelling through the Lenten period, and so Palm Sunday is April 2nd, while April 9th is Easter Sunday. No decision has been made about a Good Friday Service. Service is 10 a.m. at both sites. All welcome!

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