Okay, I’ll admit it. Spring can’t get here fast enough for me. Half a decade in Little Rock spoiled me for the season sooner to arrive than it ever did up north. Yet, even now I set out in antsy search for any sign. And little by little, they’re coming. 

Tiny buds of promising color. Trees that stand straighter. The tulips and daffodils that are poking through the straw-colored grass. The change in the songs of birds. Promising, promising.

Then, last week, the first of the red-winged blackbirds. Woohoo. A pine warbler. And this weekend, goldfinches. By the hundreds.

Goldfinches as such aren’t heralds of the new season: These sociable little guys hang around all year long…but only with the advance of spring do they arrive in such numbers. And they are hungry! They waited their turns at the feeders, they were as numerous as leaves on the trees. I have five feeding stations around the yard; they cleaned out the biggest of them in less than 24 hours, and ate through more than half of the rest. Startled, they would take to the air simultaneously in an impressive whoosh of wings.

Blackbirds. Goldfinches. Daffodils. With the terrible ice storm so recently behind us, can spring be far ahead?