I know. I know. It's mid-January. But the snow has been replaced by mud, and a small mosquito-like insect briefly buzzed me this AM. And it SMELLS like spring.
I've noticed a few more things this week that portend of spring:
* A brilliantly colored male House Finch was at the feeders yesterday. The other HOFIs that have been at the feeders this winter seem drab compared to this bright red bird. Looked like he was all dressed for breeding season. Note: I read yesterday that 2010 marks the 70th anniversary of the introduction of HOFIs to the eastern U.S. (Long Island).
* Along the same lines, there's been an American Goldfinch coming to the feeders this week that's obviously yellower than the birds I've had this winter. He's not the bright yellow of the AMGO in summer, but there's enough yellow to catch your eye when he flies to the feeder.
* This morning a House Finch was singing loudly and continuously from the top of a tree.
* And, for the past few days, a squirrel has been stuffing its mouth full of nesting materials and making repeated trips up into the spruce by the storage shed.