There's a tradition around here for greeting the start of spring, which arrived officially at 12:15 PM: get up before dawn, hike to the top of Lantern Hill, and watch the Westerly Morris Men, a venerable local dance troupe, perform their even more venerable dances as the sun rises about 10 minutes before 7. I knew that this year the trek was going to be out of the question—even before the knee problem reared its really ugly head, there was no way I was going to be able to navigate that hill, so, as the Morris Men suggested, I came up with a Vernal Equinox greeting ceremony of my own. I went to the local farm pond and scanned the water for newly arrived ducks whose migration into our area is as sure a sign of spring as dance, the clack of boots on stone, and cheery sound of the concertina. The pond didn't disappoint, and I spotted the first Wood Ducks (above) and Ring-necked Ducks (below) in full breeding plumage. This is spring finery to gladden any heart, even one not yet up to dancing.