Friday, March 05, 2010

Spring's Gentle Entrance

"In the spring when gentle Sister South Wind
kissed away all the snow and ice..."

This line is taken from Thornton W. Burgess' book Mother West Wind's Children. ( I still love to read Burgess' books)

Our cloudy skies have opened up to beautiful, clear sunshine this week with cool northerly winds. This slow warming has prevented a rapid thaw which would cause ice jams and flooding of rivers and streams. We had about half the usual amount of snow this winter (taking note that winter is not yet over) but temperatures were cold and the Grand River near the hospital was frozen over most of the time. Last March I posted pictures of bus-sized ice chunks thrown up on the banks below the hospital. This year the ice is thinning and moving slowly downstream.

These are days when I can hardly wait to get out of work and soak up some sunlight on a local trail. Black ice is treacherous in the morning as melt water freezes on pavement, but by afternoon walking is easy and puddle jumping is necessary.

Goldeneye in foreground,
m. and f. Common Mergansers sleeping in background

Sister South Wind is forecasted to make an appearance on the weekend and she will likely encourage many birds to travel in a northerly direction. Common Mergansers, Goldeneye Ducks and American Tree Sparrows will be leaving us shortly and I predict that Red winged Blackbirds will be heard in these marshes in the next couple of days. Black-capped Chickadees are starting to pair off in preparation for their breeding season and spring songs of many birds fill the trees.

American Tree Sparrow...soon to leave

Have a wonderful weekend. I am looking forward to this one!!


  1. Wow--I am struck by your comment that you had half the snow of a usual winter. We had more than double--so all your snow slid south and we got it!
    Living near the Susquehanna River, we also know the value of slowly melting icebound water. We had a terrible winter flood some 20 years ago, that took out a bridge (that Hurricane Agnes could not topple) and flooded a major portion of Harrisburg, our state's capitol.

    (I am giggling now--my word verification: iducksit or I duck sit...apropos your one photo).

  2. I love Spring and I love your photos! There's a promise hidden in this time of we're teetering on the brink of the new season. I must admit I'm looking forward to it :)

  3. We are really in for a treat this weekend as the predicted highs are in the low 60's!! I am so looking forward to getting the garden gloves on!

  4. I love the "coming of spring" feeling in the air. The songs of birds as they "pair" off. The anticipation of budding flowers and the return of the birds from the south. We have been blessed with a very mild winter and it certainly has been a bearable one. I too have been setting foot on local trails that have missed my footprints over the winter. Looking forward to a new season!

  5. It has certainly been a super first week. I am not looking forward to hearing the lion's roar.

  6. I think my Tree Sparrows have already left Minnesota. We've enjoyed mild and sunny weather this entire past week and I'm happy to see signs of spring all around too.

  7. Yeah for spring, I am getting itchy fingers to start gardening.


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