Annie: Did you see? Worms are dangling from trees! Yellow-pale-green long worms from those short shrubby trees, and little tight curling worms on those tall pale trees.
Santa: Worms? Where! Don’t tell me the tent caterpillars are back!
Shell: Huh? What are you both talking about? Worms on the trees?
Tam The Teapot: Ah hem, I believe Annie is referring to catkins. I too have noticed that some shrubs and some trees are now displaying catkins. Some are yellow-green, some reddish brown. Other trees have other kinds, I suspect. Catkins are basically the trees’ flowers.
Shell: So the trees have flowers, and not worms? That’s a lot more pleasant!
Tam The Teapot: Indeed!
Annie: I wonder if trees in other places have worms all over them right now–I mean catkins? Hey, readers — [Annie looks at you!] — do any trees in your neighborhood have dangly-things all over, and no leaves?
Shell: Hey, I have a joke! Fresh from my Joke Shop!
Santa: What is it? I could listen to something funny about now.
Shell: Okay, here it is: How is Jane’s book writing like those trees with all the catkins?
Santa: Uh, gee, Shell. How?
Shell: Her book still has no new leaves. Ha ha!
Santa: Not very funny–
Shell: Maybe not, but it’s true. Jane is working on the book–my book–and had hoped to post a new Leaf today, but ….
Annie: She’s covered with worms instead?
Shell: Annie, I just don’t think so.
Tam The Teapot: In any case, dear Reader. Jane begs your patience and pardon. She’s pretty sure the next Leaf will be ready sometime next week.
Annie: The first Leaf of 2012–how exciting!
Santa: Hm. We’ll see …..
To Be Continued!