Today I was having a really hard time staying awake at my desk. It was a little after 3:00, and I decided the best remedy would be to go outside and walk around the block.

It was very nice outside – about 50°F. As I was rounding the corner by the Mexican restaurant next door to our office, I spotted these:

A batch of crocus flowers

A batch of crocus flowers

These are the first blooms I’ve seen this year – outside anyhow. To me, those are the only ones that count.

When I got home I went out to check the sap bucket. We’ve been having cold nights and warm days, but there’s not as much sap in the bucket as I wanted to find there. Oh well. While I was out tooling around, I heard a flock of geese honking overhead and flying south. They flew right over the house, maybe 20 of them. Then some of them (or a different flock) circled around and flew over the house again, this time heading west (but still honking away). I didn’t know how long they would circle, so I went in after my camera. Of course they were gone when I got back out. I continued tramping about.

I heard some birds. I could see one high up in a tree, but I couldn’t tell what kind it was. Bird id from tiny silhouettes is not my forte. Maybe one of these day’s I’ll be able to recognize them by their songs, but that day is not today. I aimed my camera and zoomed in, converting the silhouette to something a bit more tangible (to me). It was an American Robin (Turdus migratorus). That would be harbinger number three.

I went back into the woods then, searching for salamanders in the numerous vernal pools we have. I’ve read that that’s where they breed at this time of the year, but I have yet to witness that. I took several pictures of moss and lichen. And a stump covered with both, peeking out from the snow.

Not exactly a harbinger, but it was still pretty.