Sunday, February 21, 2010

a taste of spring

i've been waiting for this since winter started. evidently, so have the flies, spiders, and wasps, which seemed to just pop out of nowhere with the slightest hint of warm weather. although it means my bluebirds, hooded mergansers, and woodpeckers won't be so readily visible anymore, i embrace the coming of spring with open arms and a lightened heart.

winter brings me down. i really don't like it very much. two things i do like: the snow and the new species of birds that migration ushers in. other than that, i could do without it.
snow-covered scene

as for new, or more accurately, first species sightings, this winter brought me hooded mergansers, white-throated sparrows, and yellow-rumped warblers. now, you may be thinking, "uuuhh…those are common winter birds here in the carolinas," to which i would say, yes, they are, but i have only recently become aware of the fact that not every bird is a robin or a sparrow. the sheer magnitude of the hundreds of species of birds in just this state—let alone the entire planet—is enough to make me light-headed (which often happens when i contemplate the grand scope of nature). so, common to you; a first for me.

here are two female hooded mergansers taking flight.
female hooded mergansers taking flight
the presence of me and my camera made them nervous. no surprise there…

and here are two male hoodies squabbling over territory:
male hooded mergansers defending territory

this winter also brought me a barred owl. that was one of those light-headed, awe-inspiring moments of which i just spoke.

as with all things good, though, this glimpse of spring is coming to an end after today: more rain and falling temperatures are on the way, for at least the next three days. but this taste was good, and more than enough to tide me over until the full-course meal.

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