It's starting to ebb; you can feel it.
Still cold, but not the steady hit-you-over-the-head cold weather of the past couple of months. I went down to the Oxbow Sunday morning to get a feel for it and make sure.
The week-long unsettled weather continues and in all the varying shades of gray under the turbulent clouds that morning, there was a bright red something in the distance that stood out. It was resting on a still-frozen section of the snowy ice. It looked like some kind of buoy or marker; maybe left behind by one of the ice fishermen that were scattered all over the Oxbow up until just a week ago.
The coffee was just starting to kick in and my blurry eyes were fixating on the object, squinting and trying to identify what it was. Just then the sun broke free of the clouds for a few minutes making everything brighter, but still no I.D. Then after a couple of minutes, the red object suddenly lifted off the ice and began climbing into the sky..!
It turned out to be a large balloon; maybe one of those animal shaped party balloons, or maybe a surviving Valentine gift. But why it suddenly decided to pack up and go aloft was a mystery.
Hmm. There was almost no wind... maybe the brief sunlight was enough to warm the gas inside it, sending it up like a hot air balloon? Did a sudden high pressure front swoop in undetected, raising the surrounding air pressure and making the balloon lighter than it's surroundings...?
I guess I was just witness to a science experiment; courtesy of Ma' Nature. Tracking the balloon on it's ascent, it crossed paths with a passing flock of geese.
...which sent my wandering eyes onto a new track, and I became aware of just how many geese there were, flying overhead the whole time.
Suddenly, like somebody turned up a volume knob, all the honking that had been going on around the oxbow was now in the fore.
There seemed to be thousands of them. Coming from all directions.
They were in huge, mass flocks. Some of the flocks on different routes appeared to collide and mix with each other and break off again in new trajectories.
They generally must be flying northward, I pondered; reinforcing my weather-is-changing meme. But if they are, it's on a broader scale than what can be witnessed from this little section of the valley, because these guys were going in all directions.
All the activity was enough evidence for me that things are on the climb. And with March already knocking on the door, it shouldn't be too much longer...
...now, if only I could get that "99 Red Luft Balloon" song out of my head...