Thursday, March 11, 2010

Beginnings of Spring

With spring just around the corner, the snow drifts are subsiding and our front yard has come alive! Not only are the green shoots of crocus popping up, but the migration has begun. Geese, both Canadas and Snow geese, are passing through in a constant stream of honking, sometimes flying so low you can hear the flapping of their wings.  If we are lucky, and often we are, they rest and feed in the field across the road.

No matter the temperature or the weather, the birds return and get right to work. This week's arrivals are the killdeer, bluebirds (usually here year-round but not this year), common grackle, and robins all of whom are marking out their territories ahead of the next wave. Also back, and in large numbers, are the red-winged blackbirds. The male house finches, now bright pink, are carrying nesting materials. The house sparrows fight the bluebirds for the nest boxes.  Our resident kestrel munches on his dinner of vole as we arrive home from work.  Soon we'll be saying goodbye to the snow buntings and horned larks who fed in small flocks at the sides of the road.

Spring not only feels different, but it sounds different. My amazement and respect for it will never cease. I don't know whether to look down at the ground for new green growth or look up in the trees for birds. It's invigorating. And it's just the beginning!

**bonus sighting:  We saw a red fox crossing the road last evening. In a very cat-like manner, it stopped, turned, and looked at us.

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