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First Photo of the season of a Red-Winged Blackbird at the West Rutland Marsh

Status Update — Spring’s First Firsts

Early yesterday morning, coaxed into mingling with the other humans by a routine, medical appointment, we treated ourselves to a stroll around the West Rutland Marsh armed with binocs and a camera. (And of course, still, masks.)

We heard it the instant we opened the car doors: the hey-I’m-here-where-is-everybody trill of the Red-Winged Black bird. It wasn’t the first one I’d seen this year—a male and female perched in the twiggy tops of a tree in our yard the day before—but it was the first I heard, and photographed.

And this is how the spring returns for me, not with the snow melt, or the Vernal Equinox or sleep-depriving daylight savings switch. It’s the Red-Winged Black bird crying from treetops and marsh grasses, returning as promised—making sure we are all okay after winter’s dimness.

And suddenly, remarkably, we are. Thanks to them.