The maple trees are blooming, with their improbable chartreuse flowers that look more like tiny leaves; in Missoula yesterday, the residential streets near the university were lined with these yellow-green trees. The leaves are getting ready in the same bud; they are maroon instead of green. (What kind of self-respecting flowering plant has green flowers and purple-red leaves?)
Last night we had snow that turned to ice, then melted within minutes after the sun rose above the cloud bank lining the ridge. Sandhill cranes are calling their rusty-gate cries in the mornings; I think they are flying overhead, but I can't see them. My oldest son is back from college, so we have a new ecosystem in the basement as he sorts out and puts away his things; it is good to have him back, especially since college has eased him into adulthood over the winter.