The red-winged blackbirds are back. Husband heard them a week ago; I saw them then but heard no calls until yesterday.
Friday during our after-work "out," the fifteen-year-old poodles sprang around on joy-stiffened legs like happy tiny puppies. They ran, trotted, galloped, leapt, across an expanse of remaining snow to a far part of the lawn and greeted (in their own way) the plum tree for the first time in months and months. Max found a tennis ball that has lived under the snow all winter and required a few throws. Angus was taken up with sniffing the last twelve weeks' news and spinning in circles of excitement.
The snow is receding and the driveway's developing its own little annual creek from hedgerow to stonewall.
The annual pond is forming on the front walk.
It must be Spring.
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