Down in the mud, though, things are greening up. Tufts of grass and tiny weed seedlings are sprouting. These pretty little rosettes of heart-shaped leaves are coming up under the pine trees; can anyone identify them?
And here, amid maple and ginkgo leaf litter, was a fine clutch of "aha's." Others may know them as maple seedlings. When I was very little, I plucked one of the zillions of them poking through the lawn and flower beds as my father began the spring gardening. I guess I said "aha!" and my dad, in the greatest stroke of labor-saving psychology since Tom Sawyer and that fence, told me that I had to say "aha!" loudly each time I picked one. He confessed years later to feeling a bit sneaky as he observed me bent over like a rice-harvesting peasant, barking "aha! aha!" Anyway, I still call them that (and yes, it's a good idea to pick or mow them off before they get their first set of true leaves).
First Quarter Interim Report: On New Year's day, I dared myself to visit Prospect Park every day and find (and share) at least one cool thing on every trip. After three months of (almost) daily excursions, I've met brides and skaters, coots and tigers, haunted trees and heroic monuments; on the days I didn't make it over the fence, I time-traveled through online archives to meet Victorian lady cyclists, unsavory shepherds, lost souls, and ice-skating baseball players. Oh, and I started using the park to train for a 100-mile bike ride. Thanks to everyone who has visited, commented or linked. Spring, summer, and fall, anyone?