Vultures and Frostiness

IMG_2490Yesterday I worked for the day. Driving north toward Burlington I looked up to see three Turkey Vultures circling. I was so excited I had to pull over. Then I saw four Canada Geese looking for spot to set down. It was cold–22 degrees according to the car thermometer–but they have returned. I took a walk by the Winooski River at the end of the day, hoping to spot some birds newly arrived. No dice but I did see a couple of Cedar Waxwings. They have not been common in my haunts this winter.

As I brushed my teeth this morning my wife was excited to pop upstairs and tell me a Red-Winged Blackbird was right outside. And there it was. I walked outside and saw a few more. This is the first I have seen of them this spring. The past couple of years they have arrived a little earlier, but I hear there has been some snow farther south. That may have held them up.

I woke this morning to 11 degrees with a high forecast to be 19. Winter today. Snow flurries at the moment. The sun will be out, however. At some point. We have had some frosty mornings lately but it won’t be long before spring grabs the days and runs with them. I try to be deliberate about noticing the transition to spring. So often I hear that spring arrived “all of a sudden” when it really has been trudging toward us for a while.

I lit a fire in the stove this morning. The rising sun is melting the frost. Just about a year ago we had a big storm with two feet of snow. That doesn’t look to happen again this year, but March isn’t over yet. We will have a cold one today, then the sap will be running and the roads will be mud. Today it smells like wood smoke. Tomorrow it will smell like thawing earth.

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