Little did I realize the positive weather forecasts for Maple Creek that were relayed to me were grossly underestimated. Furthermore, I did not anticipate coming down with spring fever and a thumb that is turning greener every day.Didn’t it feel fantastic when the temperature rose above freezing and then got better every day after that? It felt especially good when we watched the Regina news and talked to our youngest son who lives there and now thoroughly hates winter. By Sunday I was in a state of shock as the temperature reached 15 C and the ice that covered our street disappeared, except at the frozen outer edges. The intense thaw left some residents pumping water out of low spots in order to prevent water from seeping into their dwellings. While I messed around outside in a T-shirt (for a short while) in the spring-like conditions, children in the neighbourhood were playing in shorts and rubber boots. Their fashion statement was a little too bold for me. I told my wife that it seemed ridiculous to leave such great conditions to sit inside a skating rink and watch a hockey game, but that is what we did. The bantam’s provincial game against Clavet on Sunday was exciting and left Maple Creek with a one-goal deficit in the two-game, total-point series. Go Hawks, go! Speaking of wildlife (hawks), a brown rabbit has been a regular visitor in our neighbourhood since last summer. It is a friendly thing that did not do any damage to Angela’s garden. Instead it ate lawn grass and fertilized it during the feeding process. It will come up to a person, but will not eat vegetables that are left out for it. It typically comes into our backyard once or twice a week and shows zero interest in any vegetables that are left out for it. Even in the coldest temperatures, it would not so much as sniff at lettuce that was placed a few feet from it. I felt sorry for the critter and built a crude shelter for it out of a cardboard box. I put some rags inside for it to snuggle into, but the rabbit never went near it. It must have suspected the box was a live animal trap and the food was an enticement to enter. Little does it know that I am not a big fan of rabbit stew or other dishes that involve the animal. For white meat, I prefer chicken which are a lot messier, noisier and definitely smell a lot worse, at least when they are housed in cages. To make a long story short, the brown rabbit – which we thought must be a family pet that escaped – survived the winter fine on its own and did not fall victim to a cat, dog, children that tried to catch it or a cougar (despite sightings of the carnivores in the downtown area). “Bunny” is a bit of celebrity at our house and will continue to be welcomed until it or its offspring start sampling my wife’s garden. Should that occur, they will be subject to the wrath of Angela. Any boxes she sets out could be considered live animal traps since that is what will be targeted, but the end result will definitely be significantly different as my wife’s Germanic culinary skills will be put into practice. I guess it’s not nice to discuss such topics since the Easter bunny may be visiting in the near future, but it should also be aware that messing with Angela’s garden will produce very swift and extremely negative consequences. Regarding negativity, I had the insane idea to shovel the snow off our small garden so the sun would warm its surface. Leaving the garden intact until the last possible moment last fall and damp conditions that ensued prevented me from mulching the garden debris on top and rototilling the soil. To be totally honest, I got a little sidetracked by an abundance of worms and spent considerable time collecting them for a worm farm. There were lots of very large worms (perhaps they were dew worms), as well as many regular-sized earthworms. I researched the idea on the Internet and lined boxes with newspaper before placing a thin layer of rich soil in the boxes. The worms were then added with the plan of feeding them some kitchen compost in the winter months. Of course, they had to be stored in our basement in a place my wife did not know about . . . and that was the start of an entirely new adventure and culinary experience I hope to share.