Late in the winter and early in the spring the snow is covered in miniscule black dots. If you put your face up closely to them, you will see that they are moving, some sort of insect. As the snow melts, they follow it. And if it melts beneath them, they take off across the lawn as a moving carpet in search of more snow.

What are they? I do not know yet but they remind me of the brine flies at Mono Lake. Slow-moving, dim-witted, harmless flies in search of one thing only. They line the shore of salt lake, three, six inches deep and if you stomp a foot near one section of them, they move as one. They are a great, collective fur around the edge of the water.

Also, this time of year the vernal ponds are filled with frogs. But to hear them you would not think of frogs croaking, rather you would think of a flock of Canada geese or wayward mallards. They do not croak, they quack.

Soon, though, the peepers will be out at night and the wood thrush will come home.

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