Last night I heard the whistle of a flock of tundra swans heading north in a moonless sky over Roundtop. Their direction followed the north star as surely as if they were tied to it. This morning, the first eastern phoebe called from somewhere within the tangle of my side forest. One season ends, another begins.
Since the rain cleared, the days have been warm, the skies clear and bird migration is exploding. Hawkwatches report the first decent migration days of the season. Songbirds arrive, too. Many just pass through on their way to somewhere else, but all are on the wing now. The wind is calm and the weather is ideal for moving north.
On the ground, the earth has unfrozen and is loosening up, but I have yet to discover any sign of new green anything. A couple of spots seem promising. The small bits of grass on roadbanks or along edges no longer look withered or fully brown. But when I inspect them up close, I don’t seen signs of new growth, either. That can’t be far away, but I can’t see it just yet.
A few moths flutter outside my windows, though I can’t tell you which kinds. They are difficult enough to identify without seeing them only from the underside. Spring peepers are going full throttle down off the mountain. Up where I live, they still seem to be warming up and haven’t yet begun the big performance.
Seasons change in little steps, one thing at a time. The juncos are still here and some will remain for at least another month. They disappear slowly, or so it seems to me. By mid-April I will still have a few, though I might not see them every day. And then one day of not seeing them will stretch into three or five, and they will be gone again. One season ends, another begins.