May 06, 2009

"Spring" Happened Last Week

Something happened last weekend when I was away. Spring turned into summer. Or early spring turned into late spring. Does "spring" exist in Colorado? Discuss.

Over the weekend, as I sat in short sleeves and sandals on the porch of my Florida cabin, M.'s voice on the cell phone reported rain and drizzle. I came home in the wee hours of Monday morning--daylight brought broken clouds and sun, (male) black-headed grosbeaks staking territories, apple trees starting to flower.

Meanwhile, my Colorado bird-knowledge betrayed me in Florida. It was good that I had brought a field guide. Two almost-tame sandhill cranes strolled through the campground--should they not have migrated? Nope, resident population.

Canoeing on the lake, I saw a big, dark bird with white head and tail swoop low over the water and then rise to the top of a longleaf pine--which, incidentally, lack the wonderful smell of ponderosa pine, despite their similar appearance. It flew like an eagle, but bald eagles should have migrated, right? Nope, the guidebook showed a year-round population.

And if I did not notice this on last year's trip through Virginia, I am now convinced that every mockingbird in the South includes "Car Alarm" in its repertoire of songs.

Now, back home, it is suddenly hot, and the voice of the lawnmower is heard in the land. The air smells of wild plum blossoms.


Anonymous said...

So Colorado is kinda like Minnesota? We have winter, summer fall and.... TICKS.

Yuck. Pulled several off the dogs and myself today. I foresee a night of creepy-crawly insomnia ahead.

Holly Heyser said...

Northern California can't decide what season it is. A couple weeks ago it hit 97 degrees, but that was followed by a series of unusual (and unusually wet) late storms. We've been toggling between heat and A/C for a good month now.

JayDenver said...

Saw some Western Willets on Smith Lake in Washington Park today. They're on their way north (some go as far as the Prairie Provinces of Canada) for breeding season.

Haven't seen them on the lake previously -- maybe because the lake has more shoreline due to a pump building construction project and hasn't been filled fully for the summer months.

Anyway, it was a rare sighting in the park and welcomed by those who saw them.