After an early December ice storm and all sorts of snow and cold temperatures, but nothing whatsoever like our middle and northern states have been having, we’ve started having either cool or very mild days. Time to start the pre-spring stuff. The other day, we raked and pulled leaves from the flower beds where they were clinging to foliage and stems, to pull them away from the spring bulbs coming up all over. In one of the beds, where we had grown large pots of tomatoes last year, while I was raking, I uncovered a small green cherry tomato which had to have fallen when we picked all the green tomatoes last November before the first frost on November 12. This tomato was pristine green, having lain under a cover of leaves, for three months, all through the freezes, the ice storm, and the snow. Of course I brought the little tomato inside, to show it to the rest of the family. Once exposed to light and warmth, it started having streaks of red, as if it were ripening, but because it was already a pretty old little tomato, within a couple of days it was ready to go into the compost bucket. Nature is so fascinating. It can be so destructive and yet in so many ways it can nurture. And never underestimate the shelter power of a leaf, multiplied.