Seems it was the nicest day of the year yet...
This picture of the buds on a Magnolia tree, which was posted on St. Patty's day...
has now further transformed, into this:
The ones near the base of the tree have nearly opened completely.
Spring, the real Spring, the green everywhere Spring, is only a few days away....
In the bird world, these Ring-Necked Ducks were floating about the Fannie Stebbins Memorial Wildlife Refuge in Longmeadow.
From what I've read, they stop here briefly en-route during migration. Also true to what I read about them being diving ducks, I watched them completely submerge themselves in the water to feed, disappearing and reappearing. Then they got a look at the paparrazi, and casually paddled off...
There are several duck-boxes at this wildlife preserve set up for their convenience.
Stebbins has an expansive area of wetlands for bird and animal viewing. It's also right along the Connecticut river, so is right on a major migration route.
Blackbirds are now omnipresent. But for some reason, I've been having no luck getting a good picture of them. The red shoulder patch and stripe can barely be seen on this one, up in a tree:
Too dark, they are called Blackbirds. I'll get a good pic yet...
This Grackle, equally dark, hid nearby, but his bright yellow eyes gave him away.
And in the human world, later in the afternoon up in Hadley; the lowering sun was still casting a warm glow on all objects.
Landscapers are gearing up and getting to work again.
As are the renovators. The old Eddie's Cruisers building on Rt. 9 in Hadley is fast becoming unrecognizable. It now sports a roof and covered entrance way. Wonder what's going in there?
And in South Hadley, Woodbridges Restaurant is continuing on with their reworking.
That's good to see. They're in a great location right by Mt. Holyoke College and the Village Common Shops. Hopefully they'll keep the outside dining deck out front.