Tuesday, February 10, 2015

promises of spring

Even if it is only the first half of february and by any accounts a winter month, it feels as if Jack Frost is already loosening his grip of his icy fingers. We had a balmy +6C today, quite some sunshine, even if it often was veiled behind thin clouds. The birds were singing, the snow melting and the first official warnings about deteriorating icequality are out.
Spring is already tiptoeing nearer, but I fear Jack will not go without a fight. A change of wind and his bite will sting again and that might easily last for a few more weeks. But for now we are enjoying the first promises of the oncoming season. And we could do that with a visitor I have never seen before and certainly one that is not usual in these parts at all; a steglits or European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis).
The first picture I took in the morning, the second one later in the afternoon. A marvelous looking bird, very colourful....

One of the most notable changes was in the air; the singing of the birds. If there is a herald of coming spring, then it most be the song of the talgoxe or great tit; parus major song.

We also found moving flies, meltwater in the streams and creeks and open water at the edges of the lake. Plus there was another, more subtle change in the air. It was the smell. Not so much the sweet scent of spring, but the absence of the smell of frost and cold, despite the fact that the wind still chills you and we most certainly still have frost at night. As soon as the sun goes down the temperatures fall, but the smell of it is gone...

And as the sun went down it gave a great encore...


  1. I like that you notice the birds. If I put thistle seed in the bird feeder we get lesser goldfinches which are a lot like your finches. I also like that you notice the scents of world. (I'm always asking people "what did it smell like?" when they tell me they've been on vacation somewhere.) That sunset is stunning!

    1. Scent and hearing are actually more important to me then eyesight, when it comes to discovering things.
      I regularly catch myself listening instead of looking, when I'm in the woods or using my nose instead of my eyes when being around people. And smell is a much more powerful medium than eyesight. The way a familiar smell immediately propels me to a distant memory.... or triggers another instinctive response... That is why I often deliberately smell my surroundings if I want something to be imprinted in my memory.

  2. Your totem must be a winter canine - fox or wolf.

  3. yeah, I can see that! Moosgi! (Cree or Ojibwe)