The calendar says winter is over. But those of us living in Michigan, and I suspect, other northern states know better than to trust a date on the calendar. Around here we look for more definite signs that spring is poking around and considering hanging out with us for awhile.
For me robins bouncing around in my front yard is hopeful, but not really true evidence of the season changing; we’ve been known to have them stop by in the middle of winter. In fact I think I have a picture somewhere of a very disgruntled robin sitting in my heated birdbath during an icy snowstorm.
Up here it’s not really spring until I’ve hear the red-winged blackbird’s cry. It’s a distinctive sound, one you can’t confuse for anything else. That’s why I was grinning last week, because the blackbirds were robustly announcing their arrival. This week they are busy daily cleaning out my bird feeder, they must not have stopped anywhere for lunch on their trek home to me.
Then there are my goldfinches. Though many hang around all year the bright yellow males turn to an olive green in the winter. And in the spring they start sprouting patches of brilliant yellow again, a heralding of sorts that warm spring days aren’t far away.
This week the goldfinches are turning a decided yellow. I’ve been hanging out by the windows just watching them power eat thistle seed. Every day there seems to be more yellow showing.
Some of them have turned almost totally yellow already. Proof positive that winter is losing it’s hold over us, even though it snowed again today.
Daffodils are pushing up from the cold ground. I saw buds on a bush yesterday. The limbs of the forsythia bush seem to have a golden glow though there are no blossoms or even buds yet.
I’m not so gullible to think it’s time to till the garden or plant those annuals yet. Way too early up here. And I know that every year we have a significant snowfall in April.
But I also know that last snow won’t need shoveling because it will melt by mid afternoon. And the sun will grow warmer and finally, finally the frogs will begin to peep.
And then it will be spring.