Sunday, March 13, 2011

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

We still have piles of snow here and there around, but the sun was shining a little today, so even though the temperature was just 38 degrees Fahrenheit, I decided to take a walk through the neighborhood and through the park to see if I could find any signs of spring.

If you know where to look and know what you are looking for, the signs were there to be found this afternoon.  I found these shoots coming up from some of my flower bulbs in the flower bed out in front of my house. I think these are daffodils.

I also found some buds on a tree...

and some new growth on a forsythia bush.

This weeping cherry tree looks pretty stark right now...

but up close, you can see the buds starting to show on it.  

In a few weeks, this tree will look like a beautiful umbrella of white flowers.

One sure sign of spring is the return of robins to our area.  I finally saw the first robins here this weekend.  This is not a good picture and is severely cropped because the robin was quite camera shy and flew every time I tried to get close to it, but here is proof just the same that the robins have arrived.

The other birds that I look for each spring are the turkey vultures, or buzzards as they are sometimes called, as those who are long-time readers of my blog know.

I noticed that they have cut so many big trees down in the park that I wondered if the buzzards would even return to the park this year or if they might find some other spot to roost.

I hadn't seen any of the giant birds and thought that perhaps it was still too early for them to be here.  Then while walking, I came across this on the ground.

A short time later, I spotted them---perhaps a dozen or so in all, flying up above.   They were quite a distance away from me, and I was too cold to want to walk close enough to them to get better pictures, but they are back.  Even if you click on these pictures to enlarge them, the buzzards look like just spots in the sky, but it was nice to see them.

Perhaps the most obvious sign of spring approaching today was that there were people outside.  Although the sun was out for just a very short time and the skies quickly returned to being gray and overcast, people were out walking, glad to have a chance to get out of the house.

I saw lots of people walking dogs, both big...

and small.

Some people were, like me, out walking alone.  You will notice, of course, that we are still wearing winter coats and, in most cases, hats and gloves too.  I was chilled to the bone by the time I got home from my 45 minute walk outside today. This lady was one of several people that I saw out walking.

I saw these two fellows tossing a baseball back and forth in someone's back yard.  Baseball is certainly a sign of spring, I think.

These two girls rode by me on their bicycles.  What you can't see as they ride away and what made me laugh and want to take their picture is that they just came from the convenience store a couple of blocks away, and they were each carrying in one hand a frozen slush drink while steering their bikes with the other hand. 

 Now if two kids can ride their bikes to the store to get slushies and ride home carrying them, certainly spring can't be far away!!

The weatherman says we should reach temperatures in the fifties, and perhaps even reach sixty later this week.  I'm ready.