It snows, it melts, it snows again, it melts again, and I'm getting sick at my stomach from the ups and downs of this weather! February has been such a mix of everything. We've had ice, snow, freezing rain, sunshine, flooding, thunderstorms, you name it. We've already had three months of snow and cold weather, and that's one-fourth of the year - a season - and no sign of an end really.
I don't care whether the groundhog saw his shadow or not, spring will get here when it gets here. But there are the usual signs that I look for. The spring bulbs have started their journey upward out of the ground. I saw them a couple of weeks ago, and they still look the same as they did then. Of course right now, I can't see them because they're under a fresh layer of snow that we received overnight.
The birds have started grouping together and chirping their hearts out. That's always a sign of spring to me. I've seen lots of fat robins, but they'll stick around all winter as long as they have a food source, so those aren't true harbingers of spring for us. I read somewhere last year that the real sign that spring is on the way is when the red-winged blackbirds return. And guess what? I saw one last week.
I'm not kidding! I was talking to my dad on the phone and watching the feeders out the window at the same time. I thought I saw a glimpse of red on the wing of one of them, and then he flew right in front of me and I saw the tell-tale red and yellow on the wings. Definitely a red-winged blackbird.
I had to do some research on this. And it appears that I shouldn't get my hopes up seeing these either. We are on the northern edge of the year-round range of these birds. So while they're definitely not seen in abundance here until spring, seeing one on occasion is no reason to get excited either. Bah, humbug.
We've enjoyed seeing all the birds at the feeders during the periods of snow. That always brings more of them around, since some of their usual food sources get buried.
We've got juncos, cardinals, starlings, sparrows, nuthatches, mourning doves, blackbirds, blue jays, house finches, woodpeckers, and a few unidentified species.
The house finches are especially abundant right now and really pretty, I think.
but they helped themselves anyway.
I took a walk in the sunshine yesterday, mainly so I could take this photo for Kim (aka blackswampgirl) to compare similarities with her Lake Erie ice photo.
There's a little too much snow to show the rows, but the similarities are still apparent. Kim, most rows are straight here, too (see first photo above), but when I saw your photo, it reminded me of the field next to the creek that runs behind our house.
I was joined on my walk by the neighbors' goat, Dolly. I've tried to get her to come to me before, but this was the first time she did. I think she would have followed me right up to our front door had the neighbor not come out to the road to lead her back to the barn.
Our neighbors have quite a menagerie, with geese, peacocks, donkeys, cats, dogs, goats, and turkeys. The turkeys were out strutting their stuff yesterday, too.
Inside the house, I'm not so patiently awaiting the blooming of the Passiflora caerulea 'Clear Sky'. There are several just about ready to pop and they'll be the first blooms since early last summer. Amazing what a little plant food will do!
Meanwhile, the weather report is that we are to get a couple more inches of snow tomorrow. Here we go again!