I purchased a Japanese sickle (kama) earlier this year and used it to good effect in clearing last year's growth from the prairies. While it was a bit harder on the back than using a string trimmer, it saved a step by not needing to rake off the debris afterward. I grabbed a hunk of grass and such, sliced it off at the base and tossed it out of the garden bed.
The daffodils that minnehaha K helped me plant a few years ago are starting to come up. So is the bergamot in the front prairie along with some Pearly Everlasting. And there are probably few things more lovely than the sight of Prairie Smoke getting its growing going from under the debris of fall. (I took some extra time to clear that little patch and make sure it had some good light.)
While I was working, a few showers drifted by. I'd work a bit, stop for the rain, go back to work until the next rain came. It didn't take long and I'm already recovered from the exertion.
Combine this with getting the Friends School Plant Sale catalog in the mail yesterday and I officially declare it Spring!