I open the door to release restless pups, and they gallop into the yard, dawn breaking overhead. I open the refrigerator to grab peppers, onions, garlic, and ginger, with the gorgeous low-on-the-horizon beams flooding my kitchen. I pick out dropped leaves which lie among my flame red poinsettias, no matter how carefully I attend their food-making needs. These observations mark mid-winter. We in the northern hemisphere are inching toward equinox, toward sprouting bulbs and passerine symphonies.