Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
It is raining today, and there is a possibility of snow in the forecast tonight. That doesn’t sound like spring, does it? And yet, the small, subtle signs of spring are beginning to appear.
While out on my walks the past few days, I’ve heard the Red-winged Blackbirds calling conk-la-ree! which is, to me, a sure sign that spring is coming, even more so than spotting the flock of Robins in the woods. The surest bird sign of all here on the Eastern Shore is the return of the Laughing Gulls. I’ve seen small flocks of gulls overhead, but since they have been silent so far, it’s hard to say for sure they are Laughing Gulls, but I think they might be. Perhaps their silence is because they are scouts sent ahead on a secret mission.
An ear-full (a group, a flock, a museum) of Cedar Waxwings gathered yesterday in the juniper that lives in front of the kitchen window. You might remember them from last year when they cleaned most of the berries off of the juniper. I was unable to grab a photo of them yesterday. They quickly flew off in a flurry of feathers as soon as I walked into the kitchen. I was hoping they would come back today, but no sign of them so far.
The other noticeable harbinger of spring is the chorus of spring peepers and other small frogs going on out in the meadows and woods. The peepers have a kind of “anti-freeze” in their blood that helps them withstand cold temperatures. I’m not sure about the other frogs I’ve heard. Hopefully they’ll find a place to burrow and wait out this latest cold snap.
Dandelions are blooming throughout the lawn and at the entrance to the woods, but any warm sunny day, even in winter, is an opportunity for them to bloom. We continue to harvest kale from the garden. I’m amazed at how well it has done throughout the winter.
Some of the trees are wearing their springtime auras, a reddish color that appears a few weeks before they start to bud. Periwinkle leaves are popping up in the cemetery woods. I’ll have to remember to swing by the forsythia the next time I’m out and about to see if they are showing signs of life, too.
Woods are ringed with a colour so soft, so subtle that it could scarcely be said to be a colour at all. It was more the idea of a colour — as if the trees were dreaming green dreams or thinking green thoughts.
~ Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Winter hasn’t given up yet. We’ll see/feel some pretty cold temperatures over the next week. It’s been a strangely mild winter. The see-sawing between warm and cold temperatures has made it difficult to acclimate so the cold always feels colder than it ought to. Still, I think this is a liminal time, the approach of a subtle beginning and a not-so-subtle ending.
Thanks for stopping by today. It is highly unlikely we’ll see the sunset today, but if we did, it would be at 5:28 PM. The days keep growing longer. In fact, tomorrow will be 2 minutes and 4 seconds longer in terms of daylight hours. How do you plan to spend that extra time?
Today’s joys: Watching and listening to the rain; a Great Blue Heron fishing in the lagoon; shelter that keeps me warm and dry on these wet, chilly days; an afternoon cat nap; a nourishing bowl of vegetable soup for lunch.