Cross-posted at the Withywindle Blog
A few weeks ago the bird calls in our yard started increasing, much to my delight. Mourning Doves have made an appearance along with Hairy Woodpeckers and American Robins, and the 'phoebe' song of the Black-Capped Chickadee is becoming more common. Although none of these birds migrate during the winter, the longer days and (slightly) warmer temps have prompted the early beginnings of breeding season, and their presence is much more conspicuous now.
I love how, in the dreariest part of winter, you can find signs of spring if you're paying attention. A walk through the woods on our property at work on a warm February day revealed a number of insects moving about and an increase in water movement in the brook. And when those warm temps (50F) stayed for a few days, buds on the maple trees began to swell.
On a trip to Florida last week, I heard my first Barred Owl of the season, and yesterday heard two more - one at work, and one at home. I love owls - their call gives me comfort that the wild is never far from my door. The spring equinox - Ostara - is just a few weeks away, and we will celebrate it's wet, muddy arrival with much joy (and seedlings in the kitchen).