We have turned the corner here in the Twin Cities — back to a liquid landscape. Our snow has melted (mostly) and we’ve even had some rain. It’s been music to our ears to hear the sounds of dripping snow and ice, and to once again see and hear rain falling. However, it does mean that we have quite a bit of standing water as well as flood threats on a substantial number of rivers. With sunshine and blue skies above, I set out on a long walk to the library yesterday. Now that the snow is mostly gone there is evidence remaining of what a harsh and early winter we had. Our lawn is filled with leaves that were unraked before our first snow – that first snow that never melted and was followed by another 80+ inches throughout the winter. Many trees are showing damage because of the excess weight of the snow. I’m sure some will recover, but it appears that others may not. Yet there’s a lightness in the air and the hope of spring. Just like me, there are people finding excuses to be outside and enjoying the warm sunshine. The birds are busy chirping and singing, and many of the migratory birds are coming back into the area. I was especially thrilled to hear the honking of a small flock of Canada geese as they flew over our house. They too know that spring has returned to Minnesota.