Saturday, February 16, 2013

Promise of spring

Yesterday radiant heat from the sun was melting the blanket of snow and my face was warmed along with my mood. Melt water was audibly dripping revealing flowering snowdrops and crocuses in small pockets of bare earth.

Today is a dull day with snow in the forecast. But the birds are singing as fervently as ever. I’ve been observing them for the Great Backyard Bird Count. The squirrels must be hunkered down because they seem to be leaving the bird feeder alone letting the chickadees and titmice have a free run. A northern cardinal is singing high up in the holly tree. White-throated sparrows are scratching about in exposed leaf litter. A song sparrow spends some time in the safety of the cage surrounding the feeder. A furtive dark-eyed junco is hopping about beneath. A white-breasted nuthatch spirals down the trunk of an oak tree and in the distance I spot a downy woodpecker. Last but not least, the tiny Carolina wren pays a fleeting visit to round off my list.