It’s just past the middle of February. Snow covers the ground. The sun is shining bright and the temperature is approaching 30 degrees F, so I walked down to the Council and Dancing Sands Springs along Monroe Street to see what was going on. I was hoping to see or hear Sandhill cranes which, according to the phenology calendar, should have arrived last Friday.
No such luck today, but a flock of 14 mallards were floating and grazing in the Ho-Nee-Um Pond, which is kept ice free by the warm waters of the springs. A few Black-capped chickadees, along with a calling Red-bellied woodpecker were inspecting tree trunks. The red osier dogwood along the shore of Lake Wingra was just starting to show some color. Somewhere, further off, was the sound of a hairy woodpecker. Along the boardwalk I startled a pair of mourning doves.
Also, surprisingly, I spotted a couple of rose flowers floating the in the Dancing Sands spring. Someone, probably from a wedding party, had tossed them in.
Or were the roses floating downstream because of a Valentine’s Days sorrow or celebration. One wonders what the story of the roses is about.