The start of mud season in Maine can be a little discouraging because of the debris left behind after the snow melts: Litter, twigs, cigarette butts, bottles, and above all the dirt and sand thrown aside by the plows. There’s no snow to hide it, and April showers haven’t come yet to wash it all away.

Anyhow, when the flower garden in front of the house is blooming, I hide toy animals under the hosta and the pansies and the columbines; I think that passers-by, especially children, will enjoy spotting them. And today, I found one that I’d failed to collect in the fall, and which had somehow migrated a couple of yards from its original location. So I put it back.

The bark mulch is there only because of a past beautification effort. But I don’t really like bark mulch. Two years, now, and it still hasn’t rotted!