Below the cliffs is -- well, I call it "the secret pond," but it's a swamp. Before greenery and thorns and mosquitoes emerge from its muck I always visit seeking signs of spring. Today I saw neon-red scraps among the downed oak leaves. Thought it was Coca-Cola cans; instead, it was a mushroom I've never seen before. Found mainly on the East Coast and in the Pacific Northwest, and "on fallen hardwood branches in wet places" according to the Audubon Field Guide, this is the Scarlet Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea), "one of the first mushrooms to look for in spring." Check! Now it's spring here for sure.
Happy birthday, Demetrius; you would have turned 65 today. I wish I had seen the baby picture you said was taken at age 1 with your hair in long dark curls and posed with an Easter basket.