The pond was almost completely ice free when I got home last night. It was so beautiful to see the reflection of the blue sky and the white pines in the water once again. I went out with the boys and watched them play by the edge of the water for a while, building dams and throwing stones.
I drove home with the car windows slightly open, and as I headed north out of town I heard it--the first frog song of spring! Around here Western chorus frogs, which make a noise that has been described as the sound of running your finger along the teeth of a comb, are the first frogs to vocalize in spring. They weren't singing at home however; I think the little wetlands they hang out in on our land are shaded enough that they haven't warmed up as fast as some others.
Sand Creek is still high from the recent heavy rains, and the ephemeral waterfall along the road across the Kettle River is still flowing. I saw four sandhill cranes in a hay field north of town this morning, and what I think was a sharp tailed grouse flying across the road. What Russ and I haven't heard much is the drumming of ruffed grouse; usually by this time the woods ring with the booming sound.