I couldn't bring myself to say 'Signs of Spring', especially after a night of 17 below zero temperatures, but never-the-less, there are always signs of the changing seasons.
The first was the chickadee calling. Everyone knows the chickadee's typical song, 'chickadee-dee-dee', but perhaps you don't know their spring mating call, which you hear frequently as spring approaches. I'm told by reputable naturalists that it sounds like 'hamburg-urr', with the last two syllables falling. Anyway, we first heard it over a week ago, when January had hardly started, and we're hearing it regularly now on sunny days - the birds know that spring is on its way.
Then there's the lengthening days. I often walk the dog in late afternoon, and for a few days before Christmas you really had to be back home by 5 p.m. to escape the dark. But now you can leave on a walk at 5, and it will be still light out when you arrive back at 5.30. A full half hour of extra daylight already!
Finally, there were the two wonderful sunny days earlier this week - great days to be out snowshoeing or skiing, which we were. Although it was bitterly cold overnight, in the hours after lunch when the sun was shining, you could certainly feel the heat of that sun on your face, and it was melting the ice off the porch. A beautiful day to be out.
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