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Snow can't stop spring's progress

What's a foot or so of snow against the steady advance of spring? Sure, parts of the Northland were walloped with a pesky little blizzard on Friday. Certainly some of our spring migrants must have wondered if they'd overshot the mark a bit. But a...

What's a foot or so of snow against the steady advance of spring? Sure, parts of the Northland were walloped with a pesky little blizzard on Friday.

Certainly some of our spring migrants must have wondered if they'd overshot the mark a bit. But as temperatures rise, and that snow becomes water for our streams, we'll get on with spring.

Here are a number of readers' observations from before the storm:

Shirley Shusta of Ely saw her first robin on April 5. Angie Swenson of Proctor saw her first one April 4.

Pat McAuliffe of Grand Lake Township, between Grand Lake and Little Grand Lake, saw two great blue herons "cruising along the shore looking for open water" last weekend.

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In Rice Lake Township, Jerry and Katie Mensen had their feeders full of common redpolls last Sunday morning and saw three robins under some pines.

Deanna Worm of Wrenshall saw two northern harriers (marsh hawks) a few miles south of Wrenshall on April 4.

Jon "Gary" Larson of Sandstone saw his first dark-eyed juncos on April 1, and by April 4, he had 30 of them feeding on the ground beneath his bird feeders. He also pulled the first two deer ticks off his outdoor cat, Alley Cat, on April 4.

Red-winged blackbirds are back in Carlton County and "singing their hearts out," according to Len and Nora Kubazewski of Wrenshall. They filed that report on April 4.

In Duluth, a black scoter was seen on April 4 by Kim Eckert at the WLSSD sewage treatment plant in Dululth.

Les Beckel lives near Cloquet and reported that last Sunday a pair of sandhill cranes had returned with the young one they had last year. "The male was out dancing a few minutes ago," Beckel said in his phone message.

"Spring is inching north on Lake St. Croix," said Jo Stewart of Solon Springs. "There is open water at the mouth of the St. Croix River where swans and Canada geese are congregating."

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