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A Hint of Spring

February 18, 2015

Who would believe that you could sit outside in glorious warm sunshine in February here in the Kootenays? But it is true – the weather in the past three days has been glorious. But spring weather brings a restlessness that makes it hard to sit at the computer when the sun is shining.

I walk when I am restless and my walks have borne fruit in this false spring. I came across a flock of fifty or more beautiful Bohemian Waxwings hawking for insects on the shore of Kootenay Lake on one of my walks. Insects in February! The retreating snow has left the Meadow Vole tunnels exposed and these now abandoned vole highways make intriguing mazes in the grass.

This morning I was watching a male Pileated Woodpecker drumming and excavating a power pole when a tumult of calling chickadees and nuthatches drew my attention. I wandered over wondering if they had found the Pygmy Owl that has been calling lately. And yes – there was a Pygmy Owl fleeing the small flock of marauders. One nuthatch came close enough to poke the owl. A very brave nuthatch! The owl eventually flew away and the chickadees and nuthatches flew over to feed at my bird feeder – reassured for the moment that no owl would interrupt their feeding.

It may not yet be spring – it is after all only mid-February. No doubt we will see more snow. But a hint of spring is always worth celebrating!

all photos and writing copyright J.A. Siderius, 2015. If you use these, please give me credit.

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