Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Signs of Spring

As I stood in the yard Sunday afternoon (30 March), the wind whipping the snow into a horizontal blizzard, I heard a sound that gave me pause. “No,” I thought, “it can’t be! It’s too soon!” The bird making the noise was silhouetted against the sky, so I could not see it well. Taking a chance, I went inside to get my binocs. When I returned, the bird was on the birdfeeders, and the binocs proved my ears were correct: a bluebird! I checked my bird arrival checklist the next morning, and the earliest I have seen bluebirds in Newcomb is 22 April. This is just a bit too early.

The river is finally “up.” We had over half an inch of rain over the weekend and at last this has made the Hudson rise. All the ice is now gone at the pump house, too (and it was still iced in on Saturday), so it now looks more like spring conditions.

Last night the skies had cleared a bit, and soaring overhead were three turkey vultures (the first of the year), followed shortly by a merlin zipping by (another first for ’09).

We still have no wildflowers blooming, nor any frogs singing, but perhaps these will be early firsts this year, too.


  1. Yes, this is an interesting subject -- investigating trends in spring arrival times of migrants; dates of flowering; emergence of foliage, etc....

  2. Now it's my turn to be jealous. I put up bluebird houses and put out bluebird lovers' birdfood and grow several bluebird-favorite shrubs, but never see them around my house. I do glimpse them now and then in the countryside. And I'm happy you got to see and hear one to encourage you in the long wait for blossoming spring.