Around 10:00 p.m., I gradually became aware that the sound I was hearing was honking! Quacking, actually, I think - I think it was ducks. They're already returning. I am a little worried, as I don't know if they will find any open water down in the wetlands, everything is still frozen.
But spring is coming. Now we know for sure.
P.S. In looking back a year, it was March 9th of 2007 that I marked this occasion, with the same concerns, so it appears our spring is about a week ahead of schedule this year.
P.P.S. This gave me the idea to start this ==> Northeast Iowa Mini-Almanac to keep track of this sort of thing on an anecdotal basis year to year.