One of the pleasures of living up here and out of town is watching the dial of nature slowly ticking through the seasons.

Over the past few weeks, the magpies have built a nest in our backyard, the geese and ducks have returned. We’ve spotted blue herons flying over our house, a loon on the river, muskrats busy in the wetland.

This morning, out with the dog, I saw red-winged blackbirds flicking their scarlet flags over the reedy swamp of Grace Lake shoreline that is our back-yard. Beautiful.

A month ago, I snapped a pic of the river for posterity. Ice shacks still out and road carved sturdily in the snow. Yesterday, almost exactly a month later, and the very day the ice started cracking up. I took another pic from the same spot. Here they are. It’s amazing what changes a couple handfuls of days can make.

April 2, 2013

May 3, 2013