The morning is a bit foggy here on Roundtop Mountain. I was supposed to have a lot of rain overnight, but fortunately that hasn't materialized yet. On my morning walk with Dog, I noticed a lot of downed trees and branches. Some were clearly damaged by the multiple ice storms this winter. Others, like this old stump, are already years old. It won't be long before the earth has reclaimed this tree, changing it back into the soil that supports new, as yet unsprouted, trees. The wood of this old tree crumbles when I touched it, turning into mulch in my hand.
Dog and I have been noticing a lot of activity on our walks in the pre-dawn hours. And when I saw pre-dawn, I mean that not even a hint of light is visible in the east. Just this morning, Dog saw a rabbit that was quite close, likely not more than 15 feet away. As Dog is 60 lbs. heavy and can't let a rabbit just sit there while he walks by it, I had quite a struggle with him until the rabbit finally wised up and bounced away. But the rabbit wasn't the only thing we saw this morning. We also scared up a robin that was already awake and foraging on the ground. It's not uncommon for us to surprise a bird sleeping in a low branch of a tree and startle it. But this robin was already awake and looking for breakfast. The killdeer were announcing their everpresent annoyance to the entire world. I even heard a bluebird and much singing by the house finch that thrive down by the ski lodge. Spring peepers are peeping away now in earnest. The ground is soft and muddy.
Spring is here now, no doubt about it. It's still early spring, with no sign yet of new vegetation, but it is spring. Let the season begin!