I know we are barely out of February yet, but this last piece of dragging prairie winter is when I start looking for any sign that shows a promise of spring.
Black-capped chickadees are known for a couple of their calls. This common visitor to your backyard feeder these past months makes a, ‘chicka-dee-dee-dee’ call. It’s a harsh territorial sounding call. Their mating call though, marks the spring with, ‘springs here’. I know on those freaky warm winter days black-capped chickadees will sing their spring song but there is now doubt the difference it resonates in a person in late February. Check out the two calls here, so you too can recognize the sounds of spring.
I was going to move on past our sense of hearing but your ears will register this next sign of spring before you see it. The iconic ‘v’ in a sunny blue sky. Unless you’re looking skyward, the Canada goose will let you know it snuck into your air space by its ‘honk’. Check out the Canada goose call here. I think Aldo Leopold says it best in ‘A Sand County Almanac’,
“One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the spring. A cardinal, whistling spring to a thaw but later finding himself mistaken, can retrieve his error by resuming his winter silence. A chipmunk, emerging for a sunbath but finding a blizzard, has only to go back to bed. But a migrating goose, staking two hundred miles of black night on the chance of finding a hole in the lake, has no easy chance for retreat. His arrival carries the conviction of a prophet who has burned his bridges.”
I will read and reread this every spring. The geese are our prophets that, oh yes indeedy, spring will come. I’m sure my kids roll their eyes when I sit them down to make the ‘Leopold Spring Proclamation’.
What signs of spring have you found so far?