Along the Connecticut River, just a few miles away and just 300 feet downhill from home, it’s all different. I went birding with some birders but was most enamored of the hackberries, bitternut hickories, blooming red maples, and a busy muskrat along the river. Might not get invited again. Yes, there were birds, some that we are likely to see here upstream in a week or so.

A few days ago it was one goose, then two geese, and now geese all day, both overhead and in a nearby beaver pond.

Mosses are greening up and tree trunks are the brightest things around now. Lobaria pulmonaria, a three-kingdom symbiotic organism consisting of a fungus, an algal partner, and a cyanobacteria, is common among the mosses on trees. It’s also known as tree lungwort and is big and fairly easy to ID.

Pussy willows are inching out; millimetering out would be more accurate, but whatever the size, they look good.

It takes only a couple of warm days to reset the internal thermostat. Now 32 degrees feels cold. A few weeks ago, 32 would have been balmy.

This morning I watched what looked to me like a female purple finch singing away. But it turns out that this singer is in fact a first-year male who has yet to get his rosy-colored feathers. He’s already good at singing.

If you’ve watched blue jays lately, you may have seen them bobbing up and down on a branch, extending their legs, then squatting, repeated several times. Like a person exercising, but for them it’s about courtship and territory.