Earlier this week I read in S. J. Rozan's blog that the Canada geese were back at the southern end of the Hudson River. Then yesterday evening I heard just two or three of them flying overhead in the dusk, heading north. This morning there were a few more. I think that makes it official - no matter what the weather does in the next few weeks, the worst is over. I see the buds thickening and showing red on our huge back-yard maple, and at least one of our local squirrels has a russet tail as he changes his qrey winter coat for summer brown. It's been a hard winter.