Spring arrives in just a couple of days. Warmer weather and longer days are commonly favored signs of spring but mine are birds. Their return from migration cheers me the most after a long (endless?) winter.
Along the Raccoon River Valley trail, there is a Sycamore tree that serves as an apartment complex of sorts to families of Blue Herons. It stands vacant through the cold winter months with it's white bark setting it apart from the surrounding trees. But in the springtime residents return home and prepare for another season.
The tree is viewable from the car but the best way to enjoy the scene is from the bike trail. Once the enormous leaves of this tree emerge this natural aviary is disguised until autumn.
If you're inclined to check out this springtime sighting yourself here's a map for reference. X marks the spot.