Full-blown Spring

Twelve days after the spring equinox, we are enjoying the first convincing weekend of spring. A benevolent jet stream curves far to our north and warm air is flowing into Missouri. Greenery has climbed into the younger trees, dandelions glow along the roadsides and a host of fruit trees are in bloom.

Down at our local nature preserve, aquatic turtles have emerged to bask in the afternoon sun, leopard frogs are calling from their marshy haunts and clumps of wild iris have pushed through the boggy stream banks. Eastern phoebes, tree swallows and eastern bluebirds were feasting on clouds of insects, garter snakes slithered through the trailside grass and a trio of vultures tilted in the steady, southwest breeze. Wood ducks, coot and mallards plied the seasonal lake, flickers called from the woodlands and a lone woodchuck, fresh from his long hibernation, gorged on the bounty of a full-blown spring.

A higher sun and longer days are fueling this rush toward summer and winter has lost its grip on the Heartland. A few more weak jabs may be thrown but the tide of spring has taken charge. Game over!