The title of this post may seem strange, given the beautiful spring weather that has arrived in Ontario in recent days. But even as southern Ontario sees temperatures soaring to the high teens, with frogs singing and migrant birds arriving by the minute, it was not that long ago that I was surrounded by cold, crisp weather in northern Ontario. Winter held the landscape firmly in its icy grip, and signs of spring were quite difficult to locate. Even the migrant American Crows had not made it this far north.
Like many naturalists that reside in northern climes, I become somewhat restless as late winter drags on with spring just around the corner. I constantly review the weather forecast and I frequently look for any sign of spring that I can find - whether it is the first songs of House Finches and Northern Cardinals on a sunny February morning, or discovering a few crisp Northern Pintails, surely spring migrants, resting in a flooded field. Perhaps it is the first crocuses poking through the earth in a sheltered, sunny corner of a garden in my neighbourhood. Each day grows progressively longer (today is 2 minutes and 57 seconds longer than yesterday!) and new signs of spring become easier and easier to find.