I was happy to see a couple of Downy woodpeckers return to our Spirea garland tree this week, as winter continued to negotiate whether to settle in or depart. I tend to believe the migratory birds know better than the Weather Service; after all, the birds have more at stake.
Snow remains on the ground, but less of it. The lovely crystalline stuff gradually melts into the soil to awaken bulbs, grasses, and ubiquitous weeds.
Effie has less at stake than either birds or weather predictors. After frolicking in her sunny 40° Effieland, she comes inside for a ready-to-eat lunch, jumps into her hammock to give herself a thorough scrub-down, and then, unlike Hamlet, who could only feign an antic disposition, she undertakes a true antic routine.
The Downy woodpecker (follow the red forehead patch)