The first signs of spring for me – from mood elevation to grackles

Woman sun spring

Last Tuesday, March 20, 2018 marked the official start of spring. By that day, I had already noticed the clear signs of resolution of a recent four week depression. Just prior to that, I had been telling everyone that a mood upswing was due to arrive. After all, spring mood upswings predictably started almost every year at this time. They sometimes started as early as the end of February, or at least sometime in March. This pattern finally arrived, as predicted. Thank goodness!

So far, I wouldn’t say that I’m manic to any real degree, but I’m happy, enthusiastic, motivated, and optimistic. Everything feels, smells, and looks more wonderful than before. My sense of humor is back, and there is clearly a skip to my step. A smile shows on my face, whether with people or alone.

Buds on treesMood upswings are not the only things I think of that mark the beginning of spring. Trees begin to show buds, even if covered with snow. They will soon turn into beautiful leaves. The greens of my grape hyacinths show clearly above the soil. Fresh green chives are beginning to grow, and even push their way through hard white covering. They are determined and strong, just like my growing optimism.

Yes, my moods are brightening, and some plants are beginning their spring growth, but until I excitedly declare one special thing, spring is yet to truly begin. Today I can say it. Actually my husband first did…

“The grackles are back! The grackles are back!”

Yes, we saw the first grackles of the year! Those sleek iridescent black birds, with piercing eyes, have just arrived in my backyard. Just a few at first, soon to be followed by a massively huge swarm. They are highly sociable with each other, and yet slightly bullyish with other birds. You may also see them chase away squirrels, cats and even dogs. Like lions in a pride, they work together as a team to intimidate others from visiting their newly claimed food sources. From various directions they swoop like fighter jets towards the intruder(s), with long sharp beaks looking like swords. They can empty full bird feeders in as quickly a day. To some they seem like pests, but my husband and I enjoy their funny play. Just as my good humor develops and the sun shines more, the grackle entertainment eggs it on further than before. And have you ever heard the sound of the grackles? It might surprise you given their size. They don’t caw loudly like a crow, but rather have a mystical sounding song. If you’d like, you can listen to them in the video below.

34 thoughts on “The first signs of spring for me – from mood elevation to grackles

  1. Karen March 26, 2018 / 3:14 pm

    Fabulous bird sound, I haven’t heard of a grackle before!

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 3:17 pm

      They are an amazing bird! The video only records one grackle’s song, but when you hear dozens of them at the same time it’s a concert to behold. Thanks for the visit!

      Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      I live in a mid-Atlantic coastal state in the US. The common grackle has a rather large territory from the southern US to as far north as New Brunswick, Canada. They can go fairly far to the west, but according to a map I saw, not as far as the west coast states. The boat-tailed grackle is predominately an east coast US bird. I assume they winter down south and then head north in the spring. They do eventually disappear from my area as summer approaches.


      • Covert Novelist March 26, 2018 / 3:43 pm

        I’m doubly glad you published this as I’ll never see them, I live on the west coat of Canada. They are exquisite.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 3:52 pm

        You’re welcome! I’m happy to introduce a new bird. I imagine you have some wonderful birds where you are that I’ve never heard of.

        Grackles might not at first seem visually beautiful since they are black, but not only are their sounds lovely, but when the sun hits them the right way their iridescence shows a rainbow of colors.


    • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 3:41 pm

      It really is! As I wrote to Karen, it is even more amazing when you hear a flock of grackles. I couldn’t find a video that recorded more than one or two. Maybe I’ll try to make my own video when the swarm arrives.


      • Covert Novelist March 26, 2018 / 3:42 pm

        I was completely delighted. I love listening to birds, but I’ve never heard a prettier song. I’ll look forward to seeing it if you make it, most definitely.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 3:49 pm

        I will now definitely make a point to do that. I’d love to have that sound recorded.


      • Covert Novelist March 26, 2018 / 4:02 pm

        I can I shine listening at any Tim me of day. They provide an instant bubble of happiness, I can’t describe it any other way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 4:07 pm

        That’s exactly how I feel. That’s a great way of putting it, Covert Novelist! A sound that provides “an instant bubble of happiness”.


      • Covert Novelist March 26, 2018 / 4:13 pm

        Phyllis, please. Covert Novelist is my writing nom de plume lol (however it’s spelled) can’t think of it at the moment. haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 4:51 pm

        Thanks, Phyllis. My name is Cindy. I’ve always enjoyed your blog. For many months now.


      • Covert Novelist March 26, 2018 / 6:21 pm

        Thank you, Cindy. I appreciate the vote of confidence. It takes a lot to put yourself out there, not knowing the results. I didn’t realize how vulnerable you can feel. It’s always a boon to know someone appreciates it. Thank you very much! I try to get to yours every day. I got kicked when wp lost over 1000 ppl. It took awhile to get everything back in place and on line. phew.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 7:28 pm

        I’m glad everything is back to a comfortable spot for you, Phyllis!


      • Covert Novelist March 26, 2018 / 7:56 pm

        It is. I’ve started a new story and it’s exciting but unnerving as I write by the seat of my pants, it’s not pre-written so I never know whether I’ve hit my mark as far as it goes, lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reverie37 March 26, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    Wow! beautiful pictures!! (did you take those??!!) and the video was very informative. Not sure if I’ve heard this bird before, but I believe they are local. Anyway, Thanks for sharing that!

    I’m also stopping by to introduce myself. I found your blog via the psych forums and have been inviting other members all week to my own. If you are so inclined, you can follow me back at
    Have a beautiful spring! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      Thank you for visiting my blog, Reverie37! I took a few of the photos in this post, but I confess not all. Sometimes I do use free use photos that I find through google searches.

      I will visit your blog right now. I look forward to following your writing.


      • Reverie37 March 26, 2018 / 8:30 pm

        It’s cool! I borrow pics too. 🙂

        Oh and for the blog, try now. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 8:31 pm

        I needed to add the word “wordpress” to your blog address. I managed to get there, but it said I needed to request permission for access. I did, so you will probably see my request.


      • Reverie37 March 26, 2018 / 8:38 pm

        I granted you access. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 9:06 pm

        Thank you, Reverie37! I’ll visit your site right now.


  3. Reverie37 March 26, 2018 / 6:32 pm

    I apologize. I think I already commented on your last post about the blog. Did you request access by chance?

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      Hi Reverie37. I tried to visit and had difficulties. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.


  4. ashleyleia March 26, 2018 / 6:46 pm

    Love the grackles! I’m currently obsessed with a family of woodpeckers roosting on my balcony.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 7:52 pm

      That’s so cool! What type of woodpeckers?

      I live in a townhouse with a teeny backyard and a bird feeder. We do get the red-bellied woodpeckers and flickers from time to time, but that’s all. My dad has a big property with woods. He gets all kinds, including the pileated woodpecker.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ashleyleia March 26, 2018 / 7:56 pm

        I have no idea what kind it is… It took me a while even to identify they were woodpeckers at all… I’m a little challenged that way 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight March 26, 2018 / 8:06 pm

        It’s very difficult sometimes to identify birds. I have a couple of wild bird books for birds in my state. That kind of helps.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. shatteredwishes March 27, 2018 / 1:26 am

    Wow updownflight, that was such an AMAZING post!! And the pictures and the video of those funny little grackles, WOW! So happy that you are in the midst of an “upswing” I have to admit I am too! I spent the last few days outside soaking up the warm sun, (although there was a little chilly “nip” in the air) but it has been so INCREDIBLE to be alive at this moment in time of my life, truly!! May the good vibes last my friend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight March 27, 2018 / 11:09 am

      Thank you, shatteredwishes! I’m glad to read that you are also feeling really good and enjoying the sun. Let those vibes live on!


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