Winter continues its intrusion into spring's space, but the birds and the critters are tied to a different clock of light and hormones. Everything is getting busy and down to business as the need to breed keeps spring marching forward despite what we see looking out our windows. Spring wildflowers that should be pushing up from their winter slumber are a bit behind, but once we have some warm sunshine they will quickly catch up to make a short appearance before summer causes them to fade. I used to think that the birds that arrived early were not as smart or lucky. Now I have learned that they are the risk takers with an urgency to arrive first to establish their territories. Knowing this now, when I see them braving the snow and crowding the feeders I feel a bit of respect for their being first.