I shared the Mine Falls trails this afternoon with dozens of other folks eager to enjoy spring's first weekend. No crowds yet. Conditions reflect transition: trails have some patches of very slick ice, the ball fields are just emerging from the snow, and the low trail along the river is muddy enough for me to wear boots. I didn't care, and neither did the runners and dog-walkers out there with me. There was tree damage over the winter, but the mess is all off the trails.
No Porta-Johns out yet. Be patient.
I should have brought binoculars and an Audubon guide book. With no bugs out yet, it would have been a fine day to pick a spot in the woods and just sit for awhile to spot the birds. On my walk today, I saw swans in the cove where I usually see herons. The blackbirds were making noise down at the culvert near the millyard. Mallards were poking along the canal shore along an ice-free stretch. A woodpecker -- smallish; not sure what variety -- was busy near the newest bridge. Of course, I saw robins. One of them seemed to be posing for a delighted three-year-old near the ball fields.