Daytime temperatures hovered around 60 degrees F today for hours. One result of the clement conditions was renewed activity by the worst of all garden pests. And what would that be? How about a wriggly finger attached to a bored, impatient gardener! I couldn't help myself. I had to get out and see how everything was doing. This is, of course, an excellent way to break fragile new sprouts, disturb barely established root systems, dislodge labels, and leave little scent markers to tell the squirrels and raccoons where to dig. In my time, I've done all of that. Still, curious minds want to know. Last August I received a treasure-trove of bulbs from Jane McGary, and they all seem to be doing very well. I may be counting my chickens before they hatch - before they freeze in fact - but today things look very promising. Everything Jane has ever sent has arrived in such good condition: thanks seem hardly enough. And this year there is another supplier to whom I owe a big thank you. There are some bulbs which, although long and sometimes widely offered, are very difficult to acquire in good condition. The various forms of Erythronium dens-canis are an example. Last fall a nice selection of the cultivars of this species arrived from Odyssey Bulbs. Each bulb was packed in its own little plastic zip-lock bag with a bit of sphagnum. I checked each bulb today (they are potted individually in clear plastic cut-down soda bottles) and each has a massive root system. I'm a very happy gardener today, and very proud of my wriggly finger. Incidentally, don't jump to the conclusion that all Erythronium need to be packed this way. Jane sends out her western American species dry in well ventilated plastic bags - and the ones she has sent me have gone on to grow beautifully. I'm having trouble typing because my finger is still wriggling. Tomorrow I'll be out there again checking things out. Some fall crocus are still in bloom (CC. medius, pallasii, longiflorus, ochroleucus - hermoneus was still in bloom last week), C. biflorus melantherus is blooming, Colchicum kesselringii is blooming, and bud color is just barely discernable on Crocus korolkowii. The first of the late-winter-blooming witch hazels opened today, and the first flower buds of garden hellebores are above ground. Guess who has spring fever? What a year! Jim McKenney Montgomery County, Maryland, UDA, USDA zone 7, where my wriggly finger seems to have a bit of truffle hound in it!