Spring, that is. Bill spotted a couple of new visitors to the birdseed in the past couple of days, one of which was a grackle, and grackles are spring/summer birds around these parts.
If that's not enough evidence, I found a couple of dandelions (or dandelion-like weeds) flowering next to the house. I'd take a photo, but I keep forgetting until it's shady where they are and they've closed up their flowers for the night. But they're there and I've seen them.
The pheasant has continued to come back almost every day, strutting up the driveway with his long tail at a 45-degree angle. And yesterday we saw a big brown hawk chasing another bird in our yard. It happened so fast there was no chance to identify either bird except brown hawk with pale head and something vaguely falcon-shaped. Maybe. Of course I didn't have my glasses on, but I was at least outside or I might not have seen them at all.
And most evenings (and even some surprisingly early afternoons) we hear an owl hoo-hooing in the nearby woods. Plus there was that skunk last week that woke me up with his delightful smell at 5:30 am. So spring is definitely on its way, though the weirdness that is Nova Scotia weather could still mean cold and wet, or even snow again, before the winter gives up.
Addendum: So those dandelion-like weeds I mentioned are in fact coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), and according to my one book on NS plantlife (Edible Wild Plants of Nova Scotia by Heather MacLeod and Barbara MacDonald), they shouldn't be blooming for another two months. Hmm. At any rate, they weren't in shade yet when I popped outside (and I discovered many more of them), so I took a few photos of which this is one:
I'm going to need a good general book on NS plants (that includes the non-edible variety) before this season gets too far advanced.