Spring is coming (!) and lots of exciting things are happening:
1. A male Eastern Bluebird has been checking out our two nest boxes over the past couple of days. I would absolutely love to have a bluebird pair take up residence in one of these boxes, which are a new addition to the property as of last year. (Of course, I also love having Tree Swallows as tenants, and other birds are welcome, too, but these are "bluebird" boxes, after all!)
2. Yesterday was apparently a fantastic day for migration, because big flocks of geese were passing overhead all day. In 10 minutes in the middle of the day, I counted 500 Canada Geese flying over our house, plus a couple of Snow Geese. And I saw reports yesterday of people counting Canada Geese in the tens of thousands as they passed over the area. We even heard flocks of geese honking overhead at around 9:00-10:00 PM, times which have normally been so silent around here all winter.
3. Garden season has started! I planted some asparagus seeds indoors a couple of weeks ago (I know people usually plant asparagus crowns, but seeds turn out to be much cheaper, and you have to wait a year or more to harvest the asparagus either way), and now there are the tiniest asparaguses (asparagi?) growing in our basement. I didn't know asparagus could be so small! And tomorrow I'll plant the next wave of vegetable and flower seeds and tuck them into their cozy growing area, with lights and heat mats. Yay, plants!
4. I visited Sapsucker Woods today (at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and saw even more early spring sights. Beautiful Skunk Cabbage blossoms are poking up above the snow, and while I didn't clearly see whether any of these super-early spring flowers are actually open yet, I was still very happy to see these lovely speckled plants:
Red-winged Blackbirds have just returned to the area (like, yesterday), and male blackbirds were displaying from perches all around Sapsucker Woods's many marshy areas. These are the first Red-winged Blackbirds I've seen this year! Those bright wings are intense, especially in otherwise bare trees:
This male was a little more reserved, keeping his red shoulders partly covered while he puffed up and called:
Here's one more picture of this bird, looking handsome in between displays:
And we're off! Hooray, spring!