The first pair of mallards showed up two days ago, paddling around a large puddle in the front meadow. While the snow has melted, except for random patches in the woods, the ice has not yet gone out of the pond.
There are people who live near lakes and ponds who track the date ice leaves these bodies of northern water. I have to admit I’ve never written down the precise date for ice out of our pond, but it’s usually sometime in March, at least in recent years. Back in the ’70s and early ’80s, the ice could hang on into April, along with frozen ground and piles of snow. The climate is changing.