15 March, 2010

The last week of winter!

February was mild, and March has come in like the sweetest, fuzziest lamb I have ever met... if I'd ever met a lamb worth remembering. ha!

In recognition of the end of Winter (according to the astronomical phenomenon of the Vernal Equinox), I'm going to try to post photos this week, representing the changes we've experienced here, the lengthening of days, the melting of snow, and the delight of the beautiful, blue sky.

Today, is a look back at what's already been this winter. Photos from delightfully sunny and warm days in February and March. Days when I went skating with friends, or walking home from work in my shirt sleeves.

I'm not holding my breath, but maybe there'll even be a photo of a migratory bird returning from its winter vacation home some time over the week. There were ravens at the farm I walk through on my way home from work. Ravens and crows in addition to the rats-with-wings pigeons that live there eating grain all year round. The weather's changing if the ravens and crows are flying through the city! ... although, granted, the best harbinger of spring is still the influx of waterfowl that represents the predicted thaw of winter ice on rivers and lakes and ponds.

I am thirsting for the day of pelican and crane migration, nothing is sweeter than seeing those flocks circle and glide on thermal updrafts so high above the ground that you have to hold your breath in order to hear them. Their bold white and black wing patterns (pelicans) are the only thing distinguishing them from puffs of cloud in the sky, and the trilling calls (cranes) announce their enigmatic presence somewhere aloft. Another month and they should start coming back. I can't wait!

An empty skating pond in January:
A secluded view of the Hawrelak Pond

That same skating pond on Valentines' Day:
Valentine's Day skating at Hawrelak Park

An open field and windbreak, full of footprints from long walks with the dog:
U of A farm, windbreak

The beginnings of serious snow melt in March:
U of A farm, test crop fields

Our garden is thawing out, the snow mould is starting to wash away. I cannot wait for spring!