Thursday, February 7, 2013

Springing from Winter

photo of winter woods approaching spring
© harrington
Although many of us rely on the calendar and the snow cover to tell us it's still Winter, wilder creatures are already behaving, or soon will, in anticipation of Spring. Yesterday we considered the increase in Spring scents. Today, let's contemplate contributions to cacophony. Back in the woods above, a pair of great horned owls may be acting horny (great horny owls?). Egg laying will begin in a week or two, if it hasn't already. Look for chickadees to soon be perched near the tree tops singing dee-dee-dee. Cardinals begin tuning up their mating songs and getting ready to attack their own reflections in handy windows. The sounds of Spring grow from a small chorus to a crescendo over the next several weeks as song birds are joined by waterfowl calls, crane cries and the trilling and whispering of water released from its frozen prison. Spring peepers, referred to as "pinkletinks" by one of my favorite rugged outdoorsmen writers, are a month or so from serenading each other and us from nearby tree branches and damp spots in the back yard. Robins will be returning. Ravens will begin acting like acrobats and looking to establish their own territories. Winter's sleep is becoming more shallow and easily interrupted. Celebrate each day's growth of warm and cool sounds in My Minnesota and stop by again soon.