Hi Hi Blackbird!

It’s not puddle-wonderful yet; but we’re gainin.’ About a third of the crocus are up; almost all of the snow is gone and Bill is starting to make fly-casting gestures as we walk over the hill to the broad meadow threaded by Sprout Creek.

And once we’re there the creekside trees are filled with red-winged blackbirds, the birds that mean spring to me. Never mind the robins; they’re around all winter now, and though geese on the move are still distantly evocative, the reality of geese on the ground is too painful for them to have much spring cred left.

The forecast is for April showers all week – until Thursday, when snow is predicted. Doesn’t matter, the red-winged blackbirds are here, trilling and burbling and rasping over the water. Better days are coming.

Red-wings do sometimes come to the feeder, but Mr. Earl is actually looking at a house finch. It’s clinging to a native wisteria (W. frutescens) that will eventually – we hope – provide summer shade.

Blackbird tidbit from the terrific Cornell bird site: The males fight mega for territory and each usually has multiple females resident in his real estate. But the females seem to be no boundaries types: from a quarter to half of their offspring are sired by the neighbors.

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