A snowstorm at the first of the month was followed a few days later by heavy rains. The storm runoff combined with snowmelt swelled the tributaries to the Hudson, including Esopus Creek. The sudden switch from winter to spring weather has been accompanied by other signs of seasonal change. Yesterday morning, in the predawn, I heard the mutterings of waterfowl in the north cove. The daylight revealed a mixed flock of canvasbacks and redheads, migrant ducks stopping over on their way north. Highflying geese have been spotted overhead, returning to Canadian breeding grounds. The red stripe on the shoulders of male redwinged blackbirds is brightening in anticipation of mating season. Green sprouts are starting to poke through the mud in the wetlands. Dog owners are showing up on sunny days to walk their furry friends to the lighthouse and shake of winter lethargy.