In advance of one of my all-time favorite traditions—my oldest friends' party in honor of Groundhog Day—I was combing through some pictures, and I noticed that last year, on this very date, we had hellebore, aconite, and Witch Hazel flowers in full and glorious bloom. That, of course, sent me on a mission, and so, armed with the 55mm micro lens, I combed the gardens in search of blossoms. Despite the relative warmth, none of the bulbs decided to be adventurous, but when I got to the red, spring-flowering Witch Hazel, I noticed that at least a few were in the floral vanguard. I also spotted several craneflies in the air, so the earliest of flowers may have been able to attract a handful of brave and hardy pollinators. If this close-to-spring weather keeps up, the Witch Hazels will soon be visited by the first of the fat-bodied and "warm-blooded" Owlet moths that will help with the pollination duties. I don't like to even harbor this thought, but maybe real winter is not going to ever arrive in 2017. Maybe I'm waiting in vain... drat!