Today brought two unexpected delights--three, if you count the sun finally coming out after how many days (weeks? months?). Walking home from the grocery store, I heard bird sounds in an unexpected place--the edge of a parking lot just a few yards from Emerson Avenue. The area is urban for Parkersburg: behind several businesses, next to the parking lot of an apartment complex, on the edge of the enormous parking lot belonging to a bowling alley and music store. But there was a little piece of urban nature, providing everything small songbirds need.
The melting snow had left deep puddles in low places in the parking lots, and the planting area hiding the parking lot has been neglected. The tall yellow daisies (some kind of perennial helianthus, maybe?) and goldenrod that I remembered from fall had been left standing, providing a seed source, and there was an enormous twiggy rose of some kind, probably multiflora, given the setting--not an inspiring piece of wilderness, by any means. But the bush was full of song sparrows, fluttering and twittering away, and maybe other LBBs that I couldn't see. Something in that scraggly shrub was to their liking, and the action continued as I walked away.
Another delight, in another urban neighborhood off another busy street. Walking home, my husband and I were brought to a standstill by an almost overwhelming quantity and variety of birdsong . Someone had planted a small front yard with multiple trees and festooned them with feeders, while a closer look revealed that several neighbors had also chosen fruiting or other native tree species, one elderly dogwood being particularly lively. Cardinals, sparrows of various sorts, doves, and at least one wren surrounded us, making a February afternoon feel more like spring.