I leave for a week and everything changes! I guess that should be expected in April, but it was still startling to come back and see so much changed. The first thing I noticed as I drove up valley was the absence of snow. The learning center campus is nearly snow free! Small patches remain but piles of snow and patches of ice are now gone. The second thing I noticed was all of the shrubs that are leafing out. The red alder, red huckleberry, beaked hazelnut, and indian plum all have small leaves forcing their way out of too small buds. Soon, leaves and flowers will adorn all of the shrubs and trees on campus.
I also noticed the birds. I am not a birder, that is where I should begin. I know there are species I missed, or heard and could not identify, but I did see a northern flicker, a ruby crowned kinglet and I was told a loon was heard on the lake. Varied thrush, robins, and dark eyed juncos' have been around for awhile now; however seeing them in the trees and shrubs is still exciting after a long winter.
Lastly, on the Buster Brown road, I found young palmate coltsfoot pushing its way into the world. This was possibly the most exciting find of the day. It was as if this signified a shift. Suddenly new growth, coming from the once frozen ground, is pushing its way into the world.