Perhaps some of the hopeful vibes of the Arab Spring have wafted around the world affecting the quality of springtime everywhere this year. (I'm simply in an imaginary mode, of course.) Here on the Missisippi Gulf Coast spring seemed more brilliant than usual (past tense, because our spring is palpably short, quickly segueing into semi-summer). But we have about five weeks of near-perfect weather here in spring: dry, breezy, not hot, and very clear and sunny. And, the oddest occurrences: Magnolias, and perhaps some other species, decide to be deciduous in April; the large, dried, brown magnolia leaves clack along on the pavement sounding like a troop of wooden-shoed cloggers and speckle people's green lawns with large brown splotches. It's a great time, springtime, to give thanks.