Spring Is a Hundred Tiny Miracles

We’ve been watching the water level in the creeks rise this week as the snow melts until they are seeping out of their banks and spilling over into the meadows. It’s hard to enjoy the coming of spring with real innocent wonder when you know that the fact it’s coming so early is a sign of trouble ahead, but I still love cataloging all the little signs and events, the little miracles, that make it up.

  • Tuesday morning a pair of Tundra Swans flew by high overhead as I was walking in to work. Robins appeared, as if conjured here by magic, and started to sing. The goldfinches started singing too.
  • Yesterday I spotted my first flock of juncos since last fall, as well as a tiny wasp, the first flying insect I’d seen (although I’m sure they’ve been around for a bit already).
  • Today we heard a Brown Creeper singing its high, wispy song, Sandhill Cranes turned up in the fields, Red-winged Blackbirds were singing in the brush along the road, and the grouse started thumping. (The display of the male Ruffed Grouse involves compressing air under their wings to produce a sort of low, accelerating drum beat that sounds remarkably like an engine starting.)
  • Also, the willow buds have “broken,” shedding their coverings to reveal little cottony tufts.
  • (Edited the next day to add—) Chipmunks! Also chipmunks! I forgot about them when I was writing this originally but they came out of hibernation this week.

Still waiting for the first butterflies, dragonflies, and herps to appear, but we may go on a wood frog quest tomorrow. Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “Spring Is a Hundred Tiny Miracles”

  1. A naturalist in the area where I grew up told me that red-winged blackbirds should be considered the harbingers of spring, not robins. I sure hope they don’t get frozen out by a typical March blizzard…but the way this year has been going, probably not! We’ve already hit 80 degrees this week down here.

  2. Here in S. Ontario, in the past week I’ve seen: red-wing blackbirds, robins, returning geese, various tree buds, wasps, moths, grasshoppers, and of course lots and lots of flies in the grass or sunning themselves on the walls of the house. Oh, and I heard my first peeper frog of the season last night.

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