Red maple buds are sizing up a little bit and bluebirds are laying claim to nest boxes. When there’s sunshine, it’s nice and warm.

We got the big dump of snow that we always get. The one we tend to forget is coming, which is why our garden rake is now eight inches under.

Ice continues to retreat from ponds and vernal pools. Soon there will be a lot of animal activity, but patience is the word for this chilly day.

Just enough warmth to smell spring. A good day to mix up some soil and plant lettuces, parsley, and spinach indoors. Earlier than usual but, given the times, it’s time.

Till now, the goldfinches here have been too busy eating to sing. Today, they are too busy singing to eat.

One of our two close-by crows is missing a couple two three wing feathers. I see them flying over the house together several times a day from southwest to northeast, never yet in the other direction. Maybe there’s a great circle route.

So far, snowmelt has revealed mostly a winter’s worth of dog deposits. But trowel and bucket are at hand, and better things will follow.

Migrating hummingbirds arrived in Florida a couple of weeks ago. They’ll be on the move for the next couple of months, wherever flowers are available. Here that’s usually early in May. On this chilly morning it’s reassuring to imagine them zipping along in our direction.

Although only the rims at the sunny north end of our pond have thawed, eastern red-spotted newts are up and about. They’re sluggish enough to be easily caught by a 5-year-old.

Here, a cold snap has made it possible to walk safely and happily on top of the hard, a bit icy, but much-diminished snow pack.