Posted in Air, Beginnings, Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Winter

Subtle signs of spring

A gathering of bones in the woods.
A gathering of bones in the woods.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

~ Seneca

Variable weather.
Variable weather.

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.

Daffs are up.
Daffs are up.

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.

Sure looks like a Laughing Gull.
Sure looks like a Laughing Gull.

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.

Fishing in the lagoon.
Fishing in the lagoon.

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.

Beautiful reflection.
Beautiful reflection.

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.

Seeking the light.
Seeking the light.  A tiny plant in the woods.

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.

A very small group (merl, cluster, flock, cloud) of Red-winged Blackbirds in the sweet gum trees.
A very small group (merl, cluster, flock, cloud) of Red-winged Blackbirds in the sweet gum trees.

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

Silky waves.
Silky waves.

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.

View from the dock yesterday.
View from the dock yesterday.

I think Punxsutawney Phil and Shubencadie Sam and the other groundhog weather forecasters might be right for a change, and early spring it shall be.

Dark day in the woods.
Dark day in the woods.

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.

Advertisements

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

28 thoughts on “Subtle signs of spring

  1. Wow peepers in February! That’s a sound I’m sure I won’t hear for months, despite the mild temperatures. And you are so right about acclimating – normal winter temps seem so very cold this winter just because they haven’t settled in this year.
    I’ve got that song “Closing Time” by Semisonic stuck in my head now after your opening quote 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, now I’ve got that song in my head, Karma. lol! That’s okay. It’s a good song. 🙂 I think this is the earliest I’ve heard the peepers. Maybe they know something…

      Like

  2. I walked around the front part of the yard – that is, the upper south side that is off the front deck, but is really a side yard in this discombobulated yard of mine – looking for hints of spring today. No hints, but it is far too early for that here. I’m not sure eastern groundhogs really have any influence on western weather. Ah but at least the sun is shining.

    Like

  3. Daffodills…red winged blackbirds…cedar waxwings…AND PEEPERS??? Oh my. You are so much further along than us. Though we have no snow on the ground, it is snowing tonight. We have weeks and weeks of miserable ahead of us before we’ll hear peepers. I think. If we hear them too soon they’ll be sorry because winter ALWAYS comes back for at least one last huge cold wet nasty storm before it releases us to spring.

    Like

    1. If it makes you feel any better, Eliza, we had snow this morning. It was really coming down, and I think we ended up with a good 3-4 inches. It didn’t last long once the sun put in an appearance, but it was pretty for a little while. 🙂

      Like

  4. I haven’t wandered about looking for signs of spring as you have, Robin, but I love your thoughts and photos–and the idea that this is a liminal time. We had a little bit of snow this morning, but then the sun came out, and it’s melted. I think you’re right that since it’s been so warm this winter whenever it does get cold, it feels worse.

    Like

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s