If Winter Comes, Can Spring be Far Behind?

The English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley holds one view common with Balzac Billy, our Alberta Groundhog: an early spring is on its way.

Not to rub it in, but we’ve been enjoying a relatively mild winter, even a record high on Jan. 25, when the temperature reached 17C (63F).

These photos were not taken right on that day, but they all show how our ducks and geese shrugged off the icy river, spread their wings and echoed Balzac Billy’s prediction.

Here they are mass sunbathing:

Mass Sunbathing

The Mallards show their true colours:

Mallards show their colours

Compared to the Mallards, the Buffleheads are smaller in size, and are distinctly more playful. Why wait for spring to make a splash?

Playful Buffleheads

or try walking on water:

Bufflehead walking on water

The Common Merganser stands out among the crowd with their long, red beaks and eggshell white lower body with a yellow glow:

Male Merganser stands out

But my fave is the female Merganser. I like her roll-out-of-bed hairdo and natural mascara. For some reasons, she makes me think of Lucillle Ball:

Lucille Ball Merganser

Nature’s hourglass, every drip brings us closer to Spring:

Nature's Hourglass


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads

All Photos in this post taken by Arti of Ripple Effects

Do Not Copy or Reblog


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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

35 thoughts on “If Winter Comes, Can Spring be Far Behind?”

  1. That comparison with Lucille Ball is inspired! And don’t they look like they’re enjoying themselves. Our coots suddenly are all gone, as are the osprey, and the kingfishers and red-winged blackbirds are showing up, so the season is turning, whatever we see or don’t see.

    Personally, I’m ready. It’s still cold here, and another front is coming Wednesday, with gale force winds. Sigh. I’ll be so happy when I can just get up and go to work without having to either suffer through the day — or give it up after an hour!

    Wonderful photos, Arti.


    1. As I mentioned in the post, this winter in terms of weather was relatively bearable. And it does look like we’re having an early spring. Anyway, I’ve concluded that there are many species of birds, ducks esp., don’t fly south during the winter. You saw my pics of Can. Geese, Mallards, and all these varieties in this post, photos I took in Jan. and Feb. are evidences that they do stay here in the winter.


  2. We were beautifully mild until about two weeks ago when we started the roller coaster of warm to freezing. We are white today, but not for long.

    Gorgeous pics as usual. I love the mallards in mid flight!


    1. Michelle,

      Thanks. The Mallards were getting away from me as I stepped closer. So i just quickly clicked on my camera without framing them appropriately and so you see the results, some got chopped off. But I feel the colours in the photo and the sense of movement surpass the framing of the subjects; I’m totally glad with the effects. 😉


  3. I love that female Merganser with her red hair raising, too! In fact, I love all these duck shots. They do seem to be having quite a good time en masse. We’ve had an all too real winter here in NYC, Arti, so spring cannot arrive fast enough. I’m sick of snow, ice and cold.


    1. LA,

      Yes, I’ve heard about the harsh winter you’ve been having… while we bask under our temperate sun. I’ve heard too that Punxsutawney Phil saw its own shadow, an unfortunate prediction for your area I suppose? Six more weeks of winter?


  4. Great series of photos Arti! I laughed at your Lucille Ball duck, but you’re right. And while you are anticipating signs of spring, I’m watching the touches of autumn creep in (it’s been happening for over a month)- the yellows and reds coming in the trees. Not looking forward to it I must say.


    1. Louise,

      What a wonder, never thought of autumn while I’m all expectant of spring. Your winter won’t be as fierce as ours, and I’m sure your fall must be beautiful. I look forward to seeing some fantastic pictures! 😉


    1. Nicola,

      Here in southern Alberta we have the sun, well most of the time, even in winter. I consider that a true blessing. Thanks for stopping by. 😉


  5. Signs of spring must be very welcome, from what I’ve see it’s been a long cold winter. 17C isn’t too bad though, that’s about a normal winters day here in Perth 🙂 Love your images today, the ducks seem to be reveling in the slightly warmer temps.. j’adore the Merganser duck, her hair looks a little like mine this morning, disheveled! Happy week Arti.


    1. Grace,

      I’d love to see what your winter looks like… 17C for ‘normal’ winter day is very comfortable indeed. For some reasons when I click on your name, it doesn’t lead me to your website. Could you check on that? I’d love to see what Perth is like, in all seasons. 😉


  6. Mme. Merganser does indeed look like Lucy and I love that you saw that in her! (Or him). I do wish you an early spring. Your winters are usually longer and colder than ours and I believe you started earlier! It’s your time to see that beauty emerge soon!


  7. Look at you all warm and melty! We’ve been in the deep freeze for the last several weeks. It’s been so cold that we are all very excited the forecast is predicting 40F/4.4C for this coming Saturday. It is bound to feel heavenly! 🙂


    1. We’re having a ‘cold spell’ these couple of days with wind and snow. But temp. remains at about 20F or so during day time, which is very bearable for us. And later on this week, it will reach 50F. So, yeah, winter has been great so far other than the early snowstorm last September.


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