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Here, the Outdoor Girl’s favorite spring accessory – her blue half wellies – are shown next to a deer hoof print. You’ll agree, I hope, that track was made by one big deer!

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Signs of spring: Mud and snow runoff. The forked tracks in the lower part of the picture were not made by velociraptors, but by sand hill cranes. (However, at least one of my children finds those two things equally frightening – and he’s 28!) The rounded impression a bit higher in the photo are deer tracks softened and rounded by the excess water in this particular patch of mud.

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There is some color out there in the marshes and the meadows, but you have to look for it.

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Maple seeds still cling to branches – they’ll stay put until the ground is unfrozen. So far only the top couple of inches have thawed.

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Nest #2: Compare this one to the one to the left… same shape, right?

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Nest #1 – Compare this one with the one to the right…

This is nest #1!  Belongs, or perhaps belonged, to a pair of eagles who have been nesting here for years.  I saw no action around the ree, though I did see eagles on two occasions.  If there is a bird on the nest, the eggs are not yet a month laid, so that bird would not be visible.  Usually however, the mate is in the trees nearby - and that I didn't see.

Different scale though! This is nest #1! It belongs, or perhaps belonged, to a pair of eagles who have been nesting here for years. I saw no action around the tree, though I did see eagles on two occasions. If there is a bird on the nest, the eggs are not yet a month laid, so that bird would not be visible. Usually however, the mate is in the trees nearby – and that I didn’t see.

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The willow trees are among the first to show new growth in the spring – and it comes in the form of long yellow tendrils.

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Note the yellow of the willow behind the house and the red dogwood in the foreground. I really like to watch the trees swell in the spring. Craggy , bone-like finger twigs develop a nimbus of grey that soon will be actual buds, and then leaves.

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This purple finch shares the feeder with a goldfinch- colors are starting to get more pronounced.

This male cardinal has been here all winter, but look how bright his plumage is as mating season nears!

This male cardinal has been here all winter, but look how bright his plumage is as mating season nears!

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