It feels like spring! Wood ducks, common mergansers and mallards all returned to our neighborhood on the same day (by our observation), March 25, as if they all got the memo at the same time. It was the day after we'd first seen patches of open water on the lake, and we'd wondered how long it would be before our first waterbird sighting.
Four days after the first sojourners returned, hooded mergansers appeared, and then the striking buffleheads, too. I'm anticipating (hoping for) Loons pretty soon - my eyes are peeled, as well as my ears being pealed! That gorgeous call has been missing for too long. Alas, though, along with all these waterbirds come ... the motorboats.
A few days after the first waterbirds' appearance, we saw a muskrat swim by in front of our beach - what a lovely, warm fuzzy feeling all this activity has generated - winter's over! There have also been varying sized flocks of juncos, foraging through the leaves and twittering from the branches - an enveloping chorus of miniature voices.
My first skunk cabbage spathes are showing through the leaf litter too! They are still pretty small, but it's a start, and my closed gentians are also reviving themselves after their cold dormancy.
So much is going on! Spring is a busy time - some catkins are dropping from the trees already! Look at how colorful the seeds are inside this female quaking aspen catkin. Quite beautiful - it's like a pretty, woolly caterpillar.