|Rare Ohio white-bearded sparrow…AKA a messy white-throated with snow on his mug.|
We're currently in the midst of a warming trend here along the river. As I write, the temperature outside is a balmy 42˚F—the warmest it's been for weeks. The prognosticators say we'll reach 49 degrees by day's end and the upper-50s by the middle of the coming week. Moreover, the sky is blue and the sun is shining bright, sparkling like diamonds in the river.
It doesn't feel all the warm out, however. Breezy gusts blowing across all the ice and snow make the air surprisingly cold. But things are melting, drip-drip-dripping everywhere you look or listen—and while the ground is still covered in white, with no patches of brown earth yet showing, the ice and snow can't last forever under the warming onslaught. Another day, or two at the latest, should fundamentally change the look of things hereabouts.
Birdsong is also noticeably on the increase, as it has been for at least a couple of weeks. Song sparrows, white-throated sparrows, tree sparrows, field sparrows, and swamp sparrows are all singing with intensifying fervor. So are my beloved Carolina wrens. Even the chickadees are picking up the pace. And not more than twenty minutes ago, a robin perched on the corner of the picnic table and cut loose with a lilting, swinging chorus that raised my heart and outlook by at least a dozen notches.
Spring is coming. The sun daily scribes an ever-higher arc in the sky. Daylight lengthens; we've already gained more than an hour over a month ago. Photoperiod matters when it comes to seasonal change, especially in regards to spring's coming. More so, in fact, than temperature. Increased light stirs the sap in the root, awakens the sleeping larva and comatose bud, and prompts the birds to sing. It's no mystery why God's first act upon the new-formed earth was the creation of light…light equals life.
And so, on this thirteenth day of February, the burgeoning light is steadily changing my riverbank world—widening the days, melting snow and ice, stirring the birds to sing, and invigorating my faith of better times soon to arrive. I don't know about you…but I'm getting excited!