Could it be? Could it really be spring? Tuesdays snow/sleet/rain/sunshine made it hard to tell, but it looks better from now on. The Sandhills are calling, the Bluebirds flying. I took a trip, only an hour or so west of here, and witnessed huge flocks of Snowgeese and Trumpeter Swans, struggling against headwinds. Greater Whitefronted geese were waiting it out in a flooded field, I estimated over 400 birds in that field alone. Here the flocks are small and scattered. The lakes are still frozen. The flooding on the river provides open water, but the currents are strong and more than most travel weary birds want to fight with. But the Kingfisher has returned to fly up and down the river, staking his claim for the summer.
The only green out there is a few leaves left from last fall. Some plants produce their first rosettes in the fall, and then, when spring comes, they take advantage of the early sunlight to get a start before others can shade them out. Round Lobed Hepatica are one of these. They will be blooming soon, just blossoms inches off the ground, later more leaves will form. Pasque flowers are blooming in southern Minnesota already. I haven't had a chance to check on the local ones, but maybe this weekend I will get out there. They are hard to spot, fuzzy brown bits, close to the ground.Then pale purple flowers, also hugging the ground.
When I get out in the woods I will be checking for the leatherwood blooming. It's tiny yellow flowers are some of the first in the shadier areas.
There was a woolly bear caterpillar crawling along the road as I walked this morning. A few minutes later I saw a small moth flitting around. Yep. I do believe that it is spring. Get out there and enjoy it while it lasts!