Spring comes with a splash, and it comes with a sigh.
The first Red-winged Blackbirds and Robins arrived several cold weeks ago. On calm mornings the air rings with the songs and screeches of many recent arrivals, but nest-building is just beginning.
Even the cold-weather stalwarts – gulls, the winter ducks, geese and swans – are picking up the pace of activity.
Scaups, long-tails, ring-necked ducks and goldeneyes dive in the marsh, the creek and the lake.
Stiff afternoon breezes shape sand into waves that shape the sunset.
In sheltered, sunny spots succulents like Autumn Joy Sedum are poking through the leaf litter.
Some of that leaf litter may soon be part of a Robin or Grackle nest.
Goldfinches compete at the feeder just as they did all through the winter – but now their plumage is taking on much brighter colour.
Still, each warm spell is followed at this time of year by another quick reminder of winter. With two days before April another fierce snow squall brought a coating of white. There are some around here who pray this will be the last snowfall for many months.
The Snowdrops take it all in stride, having lived through several winter reruns in just the past six weeks. By an hour past dawn they are already melting off the previous night’s snowfall.
Hooded Mergansers show their spring colours against the backdrop of the marsh.
On this beautiful morning in this beautiful place, the music of a Song Sparrow sounds just about right.