Signs of Spring

As a naturalist, I feel that I should love all parts of nature.

Mostly, I do.

There are two things I struggle with:

  1. Fear of animals that can kill me, and
  2. February.

I’m trying, I really am, but February is just the coldest, grayest, darkest, most desolate of months.  I think somebody put Valentine’s Day in February in an effort to cheer people up with fat little cupids and chocolate (epic fail).

But, joy to the world, this February hasn’t been so bad!  I even started seeing early signs of spring a week ago.  Here are a few to get your hopes up before the NRV gets pounded by it’s standard end-of-season, first weekend of March snow storm:

  • Robins!  A robin in a tree is a winter sighting, my mom says, but a robin on the lawn is a spring sighting.  I saw one in a tree yesterday, but one on my lawn several days ago.  Go figure.  I’m counting it as one in the early spring column.
American Robin II 3x4

An American robin (Turdus migratorius) that I photographed last year in Heritage Park.

  • Grackles!  The 40-foot yellow birch tree across the street was filled with a flock of at least 50 common grackles three days ago.  They’re one of the first songbirds to return in the springtime.  This flock may still be on its way further north, but I’m counting it!
Common Grackle

A common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) photographed by Jacopo Werther and provided by Wikimedia Commons.

  • Crocuses blooming!  Okay, I know these aren’t wildflowers, but they are one of spring’s earliest bloomers, and they’re just so pretty!

Hello, crocuses! These brave little blossoms are peaking up out of my messy-for-the-wildlife winter garden. Ain’t they grand???


3 thoughts on “Signs of Spring

  1. When I saw your reference to grackles in conjunction with the word songbird, I was startled. Songbirds are fragile and sweet and colorful, dang it! But come to think of it, a flock of grackles in a tree makes some of the loveliest music out there. Now, could we please get up a grassroots faction to change the scientific name of our beautiful robin? BTW, the ONLY reason robins land on a lawn is the worms beneath it. If the robins can’t pierce the soil to reach breakfast (due to freezing), there’s no sense to try. And they know that. So until the dirt is ready, they stick to the trees where they might find berry bushes to tide them over. I suppose an avant garde might be assigned to check things out now and then. As usual, there’s always an exception to most rules. But then, keeping things fascinating is never a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another piece of gorgeous writing, Love!! And I am head over heels happy when you post your beautiful pictures, too. They are so good, Dee! Gad I’m proud!!! Loving you, M.

    Oh, Happy HALF BIRTHDAY!!!!!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can appreciate your sadness in leaving Blacksburg…I really miss that town! But I’m excited for you to discover all that the Maryland shores have to offer! There is definitely a lot to see and enjoy. Hope to get to visit with you!


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