It’s been hard to believe that the official start of Spring was a week ago. There’s still plenty of snow around here, and after we enjoyed a few warm, melting days it snowed again. But there are signs. I saw a robin in the front yard birch over a week ago, and Gabby and I found a lonely little woodcock in a narrow roadside treeline that had melted off and was free of snow until yesterday’s snowfall. The sun came out today, Easter Sunday, and things warmed up a bit this beautiful afternoon. Some of my friends have been working dogs on bare ground 100 miles south of here, finding grouse and woodcock in numbers but I haven’t been able to get south to join them. I’m reminded of some years back when I took time off from work and drove south until I found snow free cover to train dogs on. I slept in my truck or pitched a tent on cold ground and figured I was living pretty good. It may come to that again sometime, but not likely this year.
I was happy to hear a grouse drumming this afternoon east of the house. It’s the first I’ve heard this year and a sound no one ever tires of. Of course those grouse are a favorite, but they’re not the only birds around. Our bird feeders are always busy and this morning a hundred or more redpolls made quick work of a pan-full of seeds.
It seems like I’m hitting the truck brakes every day to avoid deer crossing the roads, but I still like watching them in our front yard, where they visit nearly daily for the seeds under the feeder. They somehow show up without stirring up the dogs in the backyard kennel, munch a snack right outside our window and wander around the yard and over to the pond with little concern.
Kamloops trout have been running along Lake Superior shores and there should be some steelhead pushing into the rivers soon. It’s been an unusually busy winter for me at work, and spring looks to be the same but here’s hoping for some good dog work and fishing soon.