Yesterday I walked outside to get the mail (this is my daily exercise and I'm diligent about it). The sun was out and felt warm although I was just wearing a T-shirt (I have 500 T-shirts and 1 pair of dress slacks so you know where my dress priorities lay). I could hear the drips from snow melting off of the trees but even better, I heard male cardinals singing. I may be telling you something you already know but birds rarely sing outside of attracting a mate or defending territory. Some flocking birds like chickadees sing to keep in touch, but mostly you just hear them sing in the spring when "whoopee" is in the air or before and during a second nesting. I also saw two male cardinals fighting at the feeder. Cardinals are lambs during the winter, flocking together, both males and females, eating harmoniously. When the hormones kick in, squabbles start and will keep up now until nesting season is over. Cardinals may have two nests in a good year, so he keeps busy - singing, defending his territory, helping feed the female and raising the chicks. Whew! The sweetest scene is a male tenderly shelling a black oil sunflower seed and gently feeding his mate. Ahhhh, true love - well, for a season. Cardinals can stay together until one dies, but I don't think this is true of all of them. You would be very surprised how tests of paternity have gone in the bird world. Lot of baby mamas and baby daddys are not living in the same nest.
So, when I smell spring (that's damp earth and sunshine) I think of opening the pond which we cover in late fall to keep the leaves out which reduces cleaning in the spring. The pond is another story.