At this time of year there are always days when it feels like spring is coming. In January you don't really notice the slowly increasing daylight, but by February it becomes obvious, and now it really makes a noticeable difference. The sun rises earlier, and we no longer get up in the dark; it's still light out til after 6, and I can walk the dog a lot later than before.
There are days too when it just feels more like spring. If the sun shines and it's a blue sky day, the temperature rises, and even if it doesn't go above freezing, the heat melts the snow on the road - as in the picture above, though this was two weeks ago. Now a sunny day makes you think of maple syrup, and folks who make syrup will be out tapping the trees any day, if they haven't already.
Down in the swamps, the red osier dogwood are turning a brighter red, and wherever they're found, the willows are turning yellow. Even if there's deep snow still around, as there is, the dogwood and willows mark the changing season and bring the promise of warmer weather to come.
And finally the chickadees are calling, not their twittering winter calls, but their spring call to their mate, 'hambuuurrg'. I've heard it occasionally for two weeks, but today every chickadee out there is imbued with the spirit of spring.
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