Signs of Spring

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At the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Center the swallows have arrived!  Building their mud nests in the eaves of the building.  They flew in and out of them, peeking out with a pale interorbital bar marking the location of their black bead eyes.  From what the naturalist told us, they just arrived before we got there, making our timing perfect to see them.  There were also the avocets; birds with curved upwards needle-like beaks and long legs, whose heads were beginning to turn brown with the change in the season (its time to impress the ladies!).  Even the fish were out, each group catching two to learn from.  They came from two areas of the water column.  One with a compressed body and countershading, indicating its preference for the middle of the water column, the other flat and camouflaged to the mud and sand, with elevated eyes for seeing what’s up.  It wasn’t warm, but the sun was shining, the pickleweed held its spring-fresh mild salty taste, and we had a good time.  Wishing you a good time on your breaks as well.  May signs of spring find you wherever you are!