I prefer to stay off the Interstates and take less populated roads when I drive across the state. There’s not always more to see on those back roads, but quite often there is. And the slower speed at the very least gives you a chance to scan the scenery just a little bit more.
I was rewarded for the detour off the main roads. As we came over a hill on Highway 313, a flock of birds exploded off the fence on the right side of the road and flew across in front of me. As they flitted past, I caught the tell-tale twinkle of blue feathers.
A lot of people consider the robin the harbinger of spring, but they’re false prophets. Quite a few robins stick around all year long, so seeing one of those red-breasted birds doesn’t really mean anything. Mountain bluebirds, on the other hand, are true migrators. When they start coming back, you know they’re bringing warmer days with them.
Granted, they do tend to turn up a little prematurely. But even though we’ll share quite a few more snowstorms, and even probably some blizzards with those beautiful blue birds, their return reminds us there is hope. The days are getting longer, and they’re moderately warmer, as well. The warm stretches will be interrupted by plenty of cold ones, and we’ll probably see more snow in the next month or two than we saw all winter before now. But spring is on its way. A bunch of little birdies told me so.
Before long, we’ll see some more signs of spring. Grass turning green, buds popping on trees, and the snow melting off the mountains.
Welcome back, bluebirds. It’s good to see you again.