Headed out to the St. Croix river valley late this morning to look for signs of spring. Prescot, WI has seemingly been abandoned by the waterfowl, who are sick of that scene and exploring newly opened water elsewhere, apparently.
I motored north to Afton State Park and was treated to sightings of Eastern meadowlarks and Blue birds. I expected the Blue birds - those things are thick over there, but I was pretty stoked to see the meadowlarks. I don't recall seeing meadowlarks at Afton previously - it may be that prairie restoration projects are getting to the point where grassland bird habitat is better, or it may be that I just caught migrants moving through. These two looked like they were fixing to stay, however.
Here is a poor photo of the meadowlark. The digital zoom on my camera leaves a little to be desired (I know... poor is the craftsman that blames the tool) but you can kind of see his awesome yellowness on top of a Blue bird house there in the middle of the photo. I thought this was a little early to find a meadowlark, but Janssen puts early arrival in early to mid-March, so I guess that's right on schedule.
The last sign of spring was Minnehaha Parkway. It was just... infested with people on bikes, kids on bikes, people walking dogs, people walking, people on rollerblades, etc. It was a parade out there. Everyone seems glad to have a little warm weather and they'll take it inspite of the stiff breezes today.