Sunday, February 13, 2011

DRIP-DRIP, CHITTER-CHEEP!

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!
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10 comments:

Rowan said...

It's great when you can feel the approach of Spring isn't it? There's been a great increase in birdsong here over the last week or so and there are six pairs of herons in the woods now - three more than last year.They were all in the air together this morning and it was quite a sight. The noise is going to be quite something - melodious it isn't but I love to hear them calling to each other, they have several different sounds and carry on regular conversations. It's as good as the theatre:)

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-
lovely piece of writing of the promise of Spring. I swear you are right here, on my back deck over by the brook - weather wise for sure and in matters of the heart - absolutely :-)
Loving you in Winter and Spring and.....
Gail
peace....

Kelly said...

I am too Grizz!!! I loved this post... When I hear my first Red-winged Blackbird I'll know spring really is on the way!

Grizz………… said...

Rowan…

It is, indeed! Spring comes gradually, but plays to all the senses as it makes its approach. I love it!

You must post on your blog about the herons. You are blessed to have them…and six pairs! That's a small rookery. They are very vocal birds, with any number of sounds or calls—though none musical. Quirky birds, too. And you're right, heron-watching is great drama.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Thank you. I'm glad to hear you're getting some of this warming trend. Even a hint of distant spring is too great a gift to not share. I know you'll enjoy it.

Be good and take care…

Grizz………… said...

Kelly…

I know don't which bird I'd consider my fail-safe harbinger of spring…but probably a robin. Though as I wrote, I head (and watched) one singing this afternoon, it was not the full song—and was the wrong time.

I'll know positively when I step outside one morning into the pre-dawn darkness and hear old Mr. Redbreast singing his swinging song from the very top of the neighbor's apple tree above the drive.

Meanwhile, keep the faith!

Linda said...

Several robins were feasting in our crab apple tree yesterday. Maybe the groundhog got it right this year.

Grizz………… said...

Linda…

Well, I've had robins hanging around near the cottage all winter. But if I was hoping the groundhog would limit winter to six more weeks, then I'm out of luck this year. However, seeing as how Groundhog's Day came during our ice storm, I'm thinking the weather rodent took a pass this time around and stayed in bed.

The Solitary Walker said...

Your excitement is infectious, Grizz! Particularly liked how you showcased the humble sparrow in your post. As I write this (early morning in the UK, not quite light)I can hear a dawn chorus of birdsong coming from the garden...

Grizz………… said...

Solitary...

No pre-dawn avain chorus here yet, but maybe in a couple more weeks, though more realistically a month. We need to keep our hopes and expectations reasonable here, note the spring harbingers, but not forget that it's still February with March yet to play out it's portion of winter. Wishing won't hurry spring.

That snow-faced white-throated sparrow appears to have a real expression of mood and personality which I thought was great.