||Sleet began slowly settling in last night about 5:30 PM and then continued to accumulate all of last night. This morning was much like a snowy day, except that there was no snow on leaves, no look of snow on the trees. Just white everywhere. And 25 F. For the last few days, one of the sure signs of spring has been insinuate itself into the soundscape – the song of cardinals. Cardinals call all year round, but the calls turn to their song sometime in late January or early February. I am trying to keep track of the weather to see what effect this has on when they start. I first heard their spring song this year about the 21st, but I have not been paying much attention. This morning several cardinals were loudly declaring that, despite the new cover of sleet, it was really spring. Their songs were particularly clear this morning because it was so quiet. The blanket of sleet meant that there were no cars driving around the park, and even 635 would have been almost traffic free, and so the air was both still and the background “buzz” was almost gone as well. The more usual grackles here are great-tailed grackles, but this morning, outside a house where someone was putting out seed, it was entirely common grackles. Perhaps the seed was of more interest to them than their bigger brothers.