The winter of 2010-2011 has been one of the longest I have ever experienced. Beyond the weather, which has been dreadful at best, my work situation has been poor, the birding has been dull, and I suppose I have been about as depressed about the general state of the world as one can be. So today, when the rain stopped abruptly, the sun broke through the clouds, the temperature suddenly began to climb making these musty old Stanflields seem like a bit too much clothing, and then to top it all off, a Yellow-rumped Warbler flew across the beach and into a cottonwood at the Little Qualicum Estuary. I felt a great sense of relief. Although the crappy weather may well continue, and nothing appears to be getting any better, a little blue and yellow bird, newly arrived from the warm lands to the south, has brought a whole lotta sunshine along with it. Winter is over. Spring is here. Time for a new start.