Yes, I went out for a bike ride this morning... a short one, but a good one, and all of my senses were picking up signs of spring! Traces of fresh color at the tips of branches and in the underbrush, warm sunlight on my face, and frogs, both spring peepers and wood frogs, singing at the top of their lungs!
This is the earliest I recall ever hearing them, and it was quite a pleasant surprise. The W&OD Trail I was riding has a number of stream crossings and little wetland areas, and a couple of those were just alive with frog song today. We'd had a fair amount of rain yesterday, so the streams were swollen and there was a lot of standing water in the woods and brush, which I'm sure had a lot to do with the liveliness of the frogs. Birds were also in abundance, from chickadees and titmice to crows and red-shouldered hawks.
Needless to say, the trail was busier than it's been in a while, at least for a weekday morning. A lot of cyclists, runners and walkers were out and about. Before you know it, it will be absolutely crowded out there, especially on weekends, but for now it was just fun to enjoy the weather with like-minded folk.
Appropriately, today was the first day of "meteorological spring" here. Of course, having lived in this area a long time, I know that March, and even April, can sometimes bring some chilly, even wintry spells. But given the very mild winter we've had so far, I can't help but think today was truly the beginning of spring, even if we do have a few cold spells left.
More pictures from this morning can be seen here:
W&OD Trail, March 1, 2012