It took the mourning doves five weeks to move up about 2,000 feet from the Colorado State University campus in Pueblo to here, but we started hearing them calling a couple of days ago.
And today . . . the unmistakeable noise of summer: the buzz of a male broadtailed hummingbird. The usual arrival date is third week of April, so if the first one is here now, that's another sign of how the year is going.
I normally count on one more snowstorm after the hummingbirds return, during which time they huddle on the single clothesline that runs under the porch roof. This year, I don't know. A friend of mine, now gone, who ranched near Penrose, would have said, "All signs fail in times of drought." I ran into his widow yesterday at the Pour House coffeehouse in Florence. She still lives on their ranch, and she was lamenting the lack of run-off.
Of course, some people have real water problems.