Patience is being tested across the American Midwest as spring is dragging its feet this year. Heavy snows in the north and cold rains in the south make it feel more like March than early May. Here in mid Missouri, the foliage is a good week behind schedule and nights below forty are still a regular occurrence; I have yet to hear the trilling of toads and have no doubt that the swifts and swallows have had some difficult days.
Of course, this streak is well within the "normal" historical range and is purely a regional aberration. The Southwest has been unusually dry and hot this spring and the Southeast is as warm and humid as ever. And though Midwesterners have put their worries about global warming on hold, the hot, sticky weather will arrive soon enough.
We humans are an impatient lot and often have difficulty taking the long view. Wildlife, on the other hand, having no records to check or forecasts to fear, take the days and the weather as they come. White-throated sparrows, unfazed by the cool spring, departed for Canada last week and their cousins, the white-crowned sparrows, are making their annual, early May visit to our neighborhood, moving north before the real heat arrives.