Does this look like spring?
How about this?
No, of course, it does not!
With that said, spring is definitely making an appearance here in my little town of McFarland, near Madison, Wis. On Sunday, I took a walk to join in the "Winter Walk-Off" meme, hosted by Les at A Tidewater Gardener. There were definitely signs of spring, though many of them weren't too pretty.
Any time we see water (of the unfrozen variety) outdoors here at this time of year is cause for celebration! There were plenty of water puddles Sunday, and more on Monday, when the temperatures hit 57F (14C)!
But the point of the Winter Walk-Off is to show what I noticed along the way.
The first thing I noticed was the huge flock of cedar waxwings in my neighbor's humongous Cottonwood tree! I didn't get a very good photo, but seriously--there must have been at least 100 massing the top branches of that giant tree. At first they were too far away for me to be able to tell what type of bird they were, but their high-pitched whistle gave them away. And then, zooming in with my camera confirmed it. A tripod would have helped, but oh well.
Next, I headed down the street toward the lake. This is a simple view of a park down the street, which looks pleasant just about every time of year.
At the lake, it was perceptibly colder than it was just a couple of blocks inland. But there's always something fun to see at the lake, which is about a five-minute walk from my house.
Several people ice fishing.
Lots of dock parts, waiting for milder weather.
Huge snow drifts, framing the playgrounds ready for the next season.
Not much chance pedestrians will be walking here for a while.
An ice hockey rink. I wonder how much longer this will be safe.
And a Christmas tree, firmly frozen several yards from the shore.
Next, I headed for higher ground.
Sumac seedheads bright in the late winter landscape.
Dried grasses and forbs adding "winter interest."
More snowmelt along this sunny road. The songbirds were very vocal along this stretch!
Geese flying in every imaginable direction.
Flocks of birds hanging out on warm rooftops.
And fluffy buds everwhere, just waiting for the "real" spring to happen.
This Milkweed seed pod caught my eye on the way home. I wonder if it froze solid before it had a chance to pop open? Will it have a chance to share its seeds when the warmer weather hits?
For other posts in the Winter Walk-Off meme or to join in, visit Les at A Tidewater Gardener.
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