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It’s April, but with all due respect to T. S. Eliot, no one up here in far northern New Hampshire is breeding any lilacs out of any land, dead or otherwise.

Instead, we’ve got the freeze-thaw cycle still going on, putting frost heaves and potholes into all the roads, and turning the frozen ground into deep, thick mud of the sort that used to sink Tiger tanks on the Eastern Front.   When I was an undergraduate doing a seminar on Robert Frost, I thought that mud-time was something Frost had made up for poetic purposes. Then I moved up here, and found out otherwise. (He wasn’t making up the bent-over birches, either.)

It’s always odd when you encounter in real life something which you’ve previously only encountered via art. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like for legions of science fiction fans on the day the space aliens finally arrive.