Yesterday we had a miraculously warm day; 65 degrees—unheard of in February! I took advantage of it and walked around the pond. A lot of the ice has melted, leaving a few slabs to sink slowly out of sight. The ducks were back, chattering and bickering (no doubt about how cold their feet were in the icy water!), paddling around in the open water.
Overhead, six black birds dive-bombed a huge hawk out of their area, squawking as one for it to move on. The intruder finally got the message and took off, and the black birds settled into the tree branches, boasting about their triumph.
Of course, this early in the season, the turtles and frogs are still sleeping soundly in the mud. They won’t surface until their internal clocks go off, letting them know that the water and air is warm. The herons will come back to stake out their favorite fishing spots, and, later on in the summer, perhaps the swans will return in all their fluffy white glory.
There were two red-winged blackbirds swaying on the reeds, scoping out real estate for this spring’s nests. At this time, they are placid but still wary. Once spring and nesting time is in full throttle, the males will be very aggressive in keeping everyone and everything away from their nests. But for now, they merely eyed me as I walked by.
Even now the pussy willows are budding out in their silvery-gray glory. The branches look as though they are filled with tiny gray kittens resting on the limbs. The sun is bright, and even now there is a shift in the air; a faint scent of spring to come.
Each time a new season rolls around, it is breath-taking. We’ve seen it happen over and over again, and yet it never gets old. Every season brings its own special gifts with it. While winter is ending, spring is beginning. Oh, you can’t see it quite yet, but it is coming along.
When, in the last day of February, I see even one red-winged blackbird in the reeds, I know that spring is on the way. All creatures of water, ground and sky know it. And if we are wise enough to stop; listen, catch the scents on the wind, see the subtle changes, watch the creatures, we will know this as well.