April 11, 2014

Five Signs of Spring in Northern Minnesota

1. American pussy willows are bursting with catkins.  These are the true harbinger of Spring.
I searched for other buds on trees today but didn't find much.

2.  Robins returned to us this week.   In this case the early birds are not getting any worms.  Our ground was still buried in snow cover when they arrived. 
So, like the grouse I saw last week, they're resorting to sumac & things in the trees.  
It's nice to see the flutter of activity.

3.  H2O, in liquid form.
In our yard today, I kept breaking through snow into pockets with several inches of water underneath.  
Our culvert opened up, water is rushing through it.
The pond is still frozen but has run-off accumulating on top of the ice - so the kids got a kayak out after school today.  Never too soon to dip a paddle, I guess.

4.  After a long winter, our Chiquita & Bandita have been laying eggs again! 
In abundance.  All these eggs are making me think of Easter.   

5.  We heard a frog this evening. 
Not a full blown frog chorus yet.  But a frog.  It sounded like a tree frog.  
Every year I document the first day or night when frog music fills the air. 
We're running a little late this year, but headed in the right direction.
Wood frog, March 24, 2012 - (our earliest):

As for the kids - they are showing all kinds of evidence of Spring.  Mud splashed up their backs from running up the driveway or riding bike.  Increasing color in their faces.  Beau's freckles are more dashing by the day.  Bikes, scooters, fishing nets, shovels, balls, sidewalk chalk, hockey sticks, mudboots, wet shoes; these are everywhere.  They're having a hay day with the longer daylight & mild weather. 
Take a peek at April 19 last year. 
We're making awesome progress.

Spring is good for us all!

Sharing with Random 5 Friday  


  1. Amanda, it's so nice to "meet you" through Random 5 Friday. Yay for Spring! :)

  2. yay!!! for spring melts, muds and glee!

  3. Hooray for spring! Hope you get to hear your frog symphony soon. We've had frogs croaking in our backyard since early March. I love it!

  4. So glad spring has finally found you up there in the frozen tundra!

  5. it's so nice to see water running under all that snow! Yes, spring is here. Enjoy

  6. So glad you are having some signs of spring. A relief for you all, no doubt. I really LOVE that first photo.

  7. Finally - spring is on its way. Such a lovely feeling! Great shots too.

  8. I may have to do a five signs of autumn - but I don't have as much to work with as your part of the world I think!

    Nice post - love the frog.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  9. I am surprized to see you still have so much snow-your pussy willow shot is gorgeous. I remember mud splashes and we heard but didn't see our first frog song a few days ago...

  10. It's good to read that Spring is putting in an appearance in your part of the world. Enjoy!

  11. What a great comment... I'm SO happy that you are experiencing Spring also. We have had some great weather here after getting home this week.

    Do you all ever experience floods after the snow melts??? Guess---if it melts gradually, things are okay.

    I can imagine how happy kids are this time of year --so they can get out and get MUDDY... ha

    Have a great weekend..

  12. Oh, I so miss the sound of the frogs croaking! We had a wetland behind us in MN, and I also remember it when growing up. Sometimes the chorus is so loud it's almost deafening and it's hard to sleep at first. That sound when I hear it now just reminds me of MN. Sigh. It's beautiful here though in western MT, the grass is beginning to turn green. Spring eventually always does come!

  13. Glad to hear you are starting to melt up there. I can't wait to hear the frogs again, we love sitting out on our back deck and listen to them as the sun is going down.

  14. Lovely egg shot. So bright and greatly framed.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  15. Spring just makes me feel better. Sunshine, buds and blooms are a welcome sight after a long winter. The yard is starting to show a little green, but it's still cool for much to be growing around here.

    The mud from the April 1st blizzard is mostly dried up. Makes getting around to take out pairs a little easier. The prairie is still wet, which will be great for getting the grass started.

    My hens went to laying too. I have 16 hens and I am getting 11-15 eggs a day. Pretty good for the old girls in my coop.

  16. The catkins are the first sign of spring from my chidhood ... They're so soft and silky, I love the way the sun reflects on them, when looking closely. And the eggs - it must be so special to collect eggs every morning! I finally took down the last christmas hearts from a branch hanging up in the ceiling, and decorated it with yellow, white and green eggs ... Welcome Spring & Easter :)
    Enjoy the beginnings of the outdoors season, Amanda - and the spring break about to start!

  17. So your winter seems to be disappearing a little earlier than last year - hopefully. Love your eggs, they look so perfectly clean and beautiful. I can't imagine our children managing through the winters you do, life would be rather different. We are still waiting for summer to end....yesterday the girls were playing hockey in 30C (86F) heat again.

  18. Great post. Some wonderful signs of spring. I love Pussywillow blooms, Robins & Frogs.

  19. So glad you are thawing a bit...and it's all the more for you to photograph in the coming months! Enjoy!