Rain in the morning. The soft sound persuaded us to stay in bed an hour longer. The dogs didn’t seem to mind. Later, we took to the bush to look for birds. The rain is softening the roads. I had to back down about 2km on a narrow road when it became impassable with deep soft snow. The birds, it seemed, decided to stay in bed for the day. The camera stayed put. When, Lisa and I arrived back on the benches above the valley, we pulled over and listened for the returning Meadowlarks. To our delight we could hear one close by. They have a joyous call that unmistakably signals the official start of spring. I scanned the grass hoping to get a glimpse, but it stayed well hid, possibly working on a nest. They will become more active in the coming weeks. On return, I started a fire to keep the damp chill from settling in our bones. We agreed it was a good day to stay warm.