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As I look around me on my daily walks, I see dying leaves falling from skeletal trees, I note that the butterflies and most other insects have now disappeared, I watch the winter bird migrants munching on the final berries, and I notice how short the hours of daylight are becoming. Yet, in the midst of all this death, decay and gloominess, I am cheered to notice signs of life and renewal. It seems awfully early for Pussy willow – maybe it’s not that. Whatever it is, it’s lovely.

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