And i found a chickadee nest! I was just looking out the back door and noticed a lot of activity in one of the maple trees....a male Downy woodpecker scooting around the branches stopping here and there to peck, and then a pair of chickadees flying back and forth to the same spot on the tree. I looked closely and realized it's a place where a branch broke off years ago (this tree is fairly brittle) and it must have left a little cavity. Reading on the internet, it seems what the birds were doing was enlarging the cavity and carrying the wood chips away from the nest hole. Chickadees are amongst my favorite little birds and i'm so thrilled that they've found a perfect natural nesting place. Take a look at the tree...the nest opening is right below the big V of branches at the center of the picture.
My hardy pansies, last seen blooming in the snow, are now blooming their heads off. I had better water them, though...you can see how terribly dry the soil is.