Still no Spring

Went for a walk down to the Pigeon River today.  I see lots of people on Twitter saying the flowers, birds and spring peepers are arriving, but we still have no bare ground in the garden, although I did hear a phoebe calling.  There are probably a few water birds arriving in the wetlands 5 km downstream as they are usually the first but I have to work this weekend again, so no time to go there and look.

You can see we still have almost a foot of wet, heavy snow left. If I don’t find my snow shoes in spring cleaning, I’m getting another pair.

Down to the river
Down to the river

My “bridge” (a couple of logs) was too slippery to cross safely.
Last time I came down, the river was frozen over fairly well and although flowing underneath, I could cross OK on the snow. This time it was looking a bit punky and when I probed hard with my big stick, it went through in places.

Doesn't look safe
Doesn’t look safe

So I found a place I could see the water and forded it. Cold wet feet because my wellies (rubber boots to non-English) are too slippery and my hiking boots were a few mm too low to keep the water out.

Once across the river, I looked around.  It looked a bit like a woodworking shop.

Piliated pile
Piliated pile

Since it snowed last night, this was fresh.  Who else but the piliated woodpecker.  Sure enough, there were a couple of fresh holes in this dead birch, a bit too high to get a decent picture.  I turned around and realised it had also made one of its Square Holes™ in the perfectly healthy eastern red cedar tree just a couple of metres away. You’d think that for the Pi Day of the century, it could have done a round hole for once.

Piliated hole
Piliated hole

Also there were plenty of deer tracks around.

Deer tracks
Deer tracks