I first read Aldo Leopold's "A Sand County Almanac" many years ago. This environmental classic, published in 1949 (after Leopold's death), takes us on a tour of the seasons, month by month.
I pulled it off the bookshelf a few months ago and decided to read it differently than I had initially: I would read each month as that month was progressing in real-time.
His March entry is called "The Geese Return". I was waiting to post the passage until I saw my first large flock of migrating geese. I had seen a smaller group overhead at home, but on Friday while driving through Charlton, a town south of us, I saw hundreds of Canada Geese in 5 to 6 large V's headed in an easterly direction. Hundreds more were in a cornfield that was losing its blanket of snow.
I hope you enjoy this short excerpt from "A Sand County Almanac" as much as I did:
The Geese Return
One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.
A cardinal, whistling spring to a thaw but later finding himself mistaken, can retrieve his error by resuming his winter silence. A chipmunk, emerging for a sunbath but finding a blizzard, has only to go back to bed. But a migrating goose, staking two hundred miles of black night on the chance of finding a hole in the lake, has no easy chance for retreat. His arrival carries the conviction of a prophet who has burned his bridges.
Photo from the WBU Image Library