Harbringers of Spring

I have no faith at all in any of the gopher's, groundhog's or even the rare Vancouver Island Marmot's predictions of spring.

Ian Tyson sings of the signs of spring in northern Alberta in his song "Springtime". The first few lines set the tone.

"Bald eagles back in the cottonwood tree

The old brown hills are just about bare

Springtime sighing all along the creek

Magpies ganging up everywhere

Sun shines warm on the eastern slope" (eastern slopes of the northern Rockies)

Here is a link if anyone would like to listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s42lZeUG1mo

Despite the fact that we have has a very warm spell for the past week or so and rain, we still have 3 feet of snow. BUT! For us, spring is right around the corner. I saw my first magpie of the year today!!!

Sorry, Laurie. I saw pics of what southern Manitoba looks like.

What are sure signs of spring for everyone else?


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    Our magpies start gathering in late Jan/early Feb. They start nesting really early here.

    Haha...yes, we will still have snow for a long time. We have had normal snowfall amounts this year. The ditches are still full and the snow in the bush is piled high. Tomorrow it goes from -30 or so up to -3 then back down to -40 Sunday night. Hopefully there will be resilient birds in the pens!

    Our remaining cows are fat. The horse is healthy & content. The dog and cats are satisfied with the feedings they are still getting off our old dead cow that we left for them through the winter.

    I saw an ad for someone taking orders for chicks today. I am planning my hatches. Other than that, and more sun throughout the day, we aren't seeing any signs of spring.

    None...but that's fine. I am happy to see lots of snow. It was badly needed. 😀

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The ducks come out of ther swamp. Three weeks after they do it is spring. They are never wrong.

    Its such a nice sight to see them flying up and down the creek.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    The songbirds are out and chattering among themselves. Not really singing yet, but getting anxious for spring. And, the bald eagles are beginning to take up their posts in the tall trees.

    The garlic is sprouting, as are the daffodils, snow drops and crocuses.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, Mar. 15th is the day that the buzzards return to Hinckley. Anything for a party around here. Spring in this area is announced by the arrival of the red wing blackbirds.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is often said around here that when you see the first robin that spring has arrived. I usually don't see them until late March or early April. The lunes will head back up to Lake Superior when it starts to warm up and they are still all over around here. They are predicting that we will accumulate another 12 inches of snow over the next 3 days so my hopes of an early spring have decreased.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    It felt like spring for a few days, but winter always returned shortly after night fall. I am excited for spring this year!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    Well, yesterday we just got another big snow. Winter is still holding onto its grip. I said our ditches are full. I need to correct that. They are over-full.

    We went for a long drive through a not very pleasant snowstorm yesterday. It is amazing seeing some of the pushed up piles of snow elsewhere where they have even more snow. I left my phone at home, otherwise I'd be sharing some pretty cool pictures with everyone.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another method of knowing when Spring is coming.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    To give you an idea of our weather right now...we had lots more snow & wind, then more snow, & then it went up to melting today with freezing rain.

    This is what my husband saw online tonight. This is an unusual amount of things in the ditch. This is roughly in our area.

    Sheer ice north of there on a secondary highway, 2 busses in the ditch. Fun stuff.

    I'm glad we aren't trying to go anywhere until maybe Monday. We'll see.

    I'm hoping to get some great snow pictures.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well, my cats are shedding clouds of fur.

    The weather runs from low 60s back down to low 20s (F.) at night. Expect tornado season to start soon.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    Tornadoes. Oh my.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    Now there are roads closed everywhere. Busses, snowplows, multiple rigs, box trucks, hydro trucks, you name it, simply slipping on glassy roads or in the ditch. They have no control. Many roads are closed, pretty much everything should be because of the ice. Not sure why they are not. This is southern (so the most busy & populated part) Manitoba wide. Accidents all over.

    Our new cow waits at the dairy. We are going nowhere. It's really amazing how absolutely everything is shut down right now. Just like that.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    Well, I think my magpies are probably pretty ticked off right now. Our wonderful double + digits C have dropped well into the double - digits C. Clear and sunny but pretty cold.

    Not quite as cold as you are @LaurieLovesLearning. Below -40 this morning?!?! With drifting snow. We had winds and drifts yesterday. Most of our snow is pretty frozen so it can't drift but there was a couple of inches that drifted into what looked like mini snow storms.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    @torey There are still two more nights of extreme cold to come before it warms up to better winter temperatures. Some drifts are super high, but even so, most roads are now plowed.

    Our drive to get the cow yesterday gave us quite the unexpected wildlife to see as we drove along. We saw magpies, lots of deer, bison (in a compound, but I'm counting them), many groups of partridge, a group of wild turkey hens (my those partridge look big...😳), my nephew, a snowy owl (!), a red fox, and two porcupines. 😄

    Our weasel at home either is not dead or another moved in. 😡 It was sighted as a "long piece of moving snow" this morning. Hopefully a trap gets set before nightfall. I don't handle rat traps. 😬

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All of my daffodils are blooming! Sometimes they pop up a bit early though.

    One thing that tells me the seasons are changing are my worms. I've noticed whenever the seasons are about to change some of my worms try and escape. I find them on the ground in my garage where their bins are. Yesterday I saw 2 dried up worms on the ground! That tells me there will be more in the near future trying to escape and that spring is on its way!!!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    They say this winter, in Winnipeg, MB, that they've had their 3rd highest snowfall since 1872. It's just over 5'.

    We have no idea how that compares to here (outside of Winnipeg usually doesn't get a lot of mention in any provincial news). I know that we certainly have many drifts much higher than that. I'm positive we aren't done with snow yet.

    Flooding is certainly a real possibility in low areas depending on the rate of snow melt. Flooding usually doesn't affect us much where we are located at least.

  • Leediafastje
    Leediafastje Posts: 97 ✭✭✭

    We've had a dry winter here. We recently had a cold snap but, it only lasted a couple of days.

    I expect spring when I see blueberry bush stalks turning a beautiful deep red. I expect spring when the forsythia begins to bud and I can tell the yellow is about to burst out. I expect spring when the buds on my roses begin to swell. I expect spring when all of my topiary pine trees start looking like children that desperately need a haircut.

    I expect spring within the next 3 weeks because all of the above are happening right now (fingers crossed on my expectations being realized 🤩)

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another sign of spring is the ton of hair billowing around from our Main Coon cat! She's losing weight! 😁

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Saw 2 red wing blackbirds today. They're probably a little chilly, but they're here. I know of one horse at the barn that's shedding.

  • DozenElk
    DozenElk Posts: 6 ✭✭✭
    edited May 28

    The snow is melted and we no longer need the fire 24/7 in fireplace insert that we use for heating the house. We also cook on it when the electricity goes out. When snows pile high in the trees, one will most certainly fall across the incoming electric lines. Robins came before snows all melted. We had a longer & colder than normal winter in the Rockies, and our power went out for days. Depending on how rugged the terrain is, where the line is broken, determines how long we are out of power. We function well with or without electricity.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin
    edited May 28

    Our orioles, swallows & hummingbirds are back! I haven't seen any monarch butterfies yet.

    Birds are super busy building nests & laying. We had to move some robin eggs into a different nest. It was built in the tractor motor area. The nest could not be removed in one piece, and we needed the tractor.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 721 ✭✭✭✭

    Daffodils tell me spring is coming.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    It's the Tulips in Skagit valley that are our harbingers of spring. And they are finally in bloom.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,411 admin

    When daisies start blossoming. That is early spring. Then the swallows. That is a mature spring. Then peonies. That is late spring. Now we are about to have summer. The cuckoo is singing like mad 😍.