Lately thoughts of spring have been creeping into my mind more and more and each day I find myself looking for even the most subtle of signs that it's on it's way. On occasion, the mornings of late February bring the spring-like songs of cardinals and other woodland birds, especially on a sunny day. There has been a Carolina Wren around for most of the winter, I think he roosts in the large brush pile in the woods out back, and despite the cold and snow he sings his song of "teakettle-teakettle!" daily. It's a welcome sound to the winter landscape and is a reminder that the desolation of winter will eventually end.
Last night I sat down at the tying desk with the thought of tying up a few bucktail streamers to add to my arsenal. Being a sucker for the classics I decided to try my hand at tying a bucktail known as the F.R.S. Fancy, a pattern originally tied by the famed Carrie Stevens. The initials stand for Frank R. Smith but other than that I don't know the story of who he was or the reason for the naming of the fly. It was one of those tying sessions where it seemed I just couldn't get into a groove so to speak but I did manage a decent rendition before I gave it up for the night.
We had a couple of inches of snow overnight but while out early this morning in the blustery cold I heard a familiar voice. There at the top of a sassafras tree against a backdrop of blue sky was a robin singing it's familiar song of spring. A welcome sight indeed and I just stood and listened for a few moments until he took off for parts unknown. The brief encounter was a reassurance that the promise of spring and all that it brings with it is not far off. I'd like to think he showed up at that moment just to ease my mind, but probably not.