Saw a MOURNING DOVE in the side yard at about 11:30 today. It’s the first one I’ve seen in my yard even though I’ve seen them many times at the Nature Center. The familiar twitch of a PHOEBE’S TAIL is as reassuring a spring sign as I could ask for. The MOURNING CLOAK has a sad name but bears a happy message: It’s spring! This earliest of our northeastern butterflies is named for its brown velvet wings. MARSH MARIGOLD leaves are coming up in one of the beaver ponds. There’s a PAIR OF WOOD DUCKS hanging around the original pond. Dwight called this morning to report COLTSFOOT in bloom over by the Ethan Allen Farm. He also saw a purple flower on the bank above the swamp.