Chipmunks are true hibernators (unlike squirrels.). So the first sighting of these little creatures means spring is at least trying.
The early pussy willows started to fatten.
Our road started to go out. Sloughing from last year’s digging blocked the ditch.
Willow twigs started to glow as the sap moved into the bark.
However, it remained pretty cold and the ice on the pond refused to thaw.
It was at this time that the local Search and Rescue had an ice rescue practice. They launched the banana boat into the river where it was open, and paddled the short distance up to a frozen lake.
They roped up
Then they took turns walking on the ice until they fell in so they could rescue each other. (They wore dry suits.)
The banana boat has open ends that can be placed over a victim, and the victim can either hang on or be hauled up onto the boat bottom.
All this looks pretty efficient, but it takes forever to get into a dry suit so the poor victim would have to be pretty resilient.
The cold, dull weather meant that pretty sunrises were few.
The April full moon happened at that time.
It dissolved into cloud.
But spring was coming. A small hole opened in the pond, and right away 2 beaver swam into it. It must feel so good to stick your head out of the water after all those months under the ice.
However, winter had not finished with us yet. Down came the snow.
The redwing blackbird’s hormones were developing. They had some marvellous spats on the feeders. (The orange one is an immature first year male.)
It took a second hole in the ice to tempt the muskrats out.
And then the first duck – almost always the Barrow’s goldeneye.
A coyote trotted across the pond, checking out the beaver house to see if it was worth the trouble of digging into it for a snack.