March is my least favorite month of the year. It’s at this point that the beautiful white snow turns into what I refer to as “dirty winter” and the season loses its luster. Our lovely city looks its worst during this time as spring struggles to gain a foothold against a winter that does not want to end. This is the time that one begins feeling the madness creep in, certain that the winter will never go away.
The forecast for the week is predicting freezing rain, snow and colder temps. The angry red temperature icon has returned to my phone, alerting me to the winter weather advisory in affect. Not only does this week mark St. Patrick’s Day but also the first day of spring and I felt a theme brewing for my blog posts. I’m not a St. Patty’s celebrant, but I do love green, so get ready for a week focused on “All Things Green While I Search for Spring” because we can’t let ourselves succumb to the March Madness!
Before the sleet and snow hit, here are some of the signs that I’ve seen so far that spring is just around the corner:
1) The ice has melted enough that Danny can safely walk the streets again while he continues healing from his injury last fall:
2) You need your rain boots instead of your snow boots (wish I’d worn warmer socks!):
3 & 4) Two of the biggest signs for Minnesotans that spring is here:
5) My strawberries are showing, how can they still be green?
6) The biggest sign of spring? This was everywhere:
I don’t remember when my fascination with birds began, but I do remember watching David Attenborough’s LIFE OF BIRDS on PBS 15 years ago, eyes wide with wonder. Each week, I tuned in for the next episode of the nine-part series. That was before television had its digital transition, there was no such thing as TiVo or Netflix, and my internet connection was via dial-up. It’s hard to imagine that world anymore.
At the time, I was shocked by what I watched. Those amazing birds could be some nasty little buggers. But there is also beauty and endurance that you can’t imagine.
Now I look for birds all the time. Living in Minneapolis, I feel fortunate that there is such a wide variety – you just have to watch for them. Earlier this week, I saw an eagle roosting in a tree on my way home from work. Red-Tailed Hawks are a regular fixture on light poles along the freeway and the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds went right through my yard on their migration last fall. I’m an equal opportunity observer with birds, the Black-Capped Chickadee is one of my favorites and Nuthatches make me laugh with the weird little sound they make. I hadn’t realized how many birds were in my urban backyard until I started to look, I encourage you to take some time to look yourself.
Here are some of my shots from the nature preserve:
And my personal favorite, the squirrel photo bomb:
One of my favorite things about Minnesota is that everything changes from season to season. The quiet of winter is coming to an end, you can feel the buzz of spring in the air. Welcome to the second post in my series from our weekend hike through the Minnesota Valley Nature Preserve.
I love trees and the lines their bare branches form against the winter landscape: