April 21 - the tree swallow has arrived (20 days later than last year). Frogs in the marsh started croaking. The Wilson's snipe has begun its winnowing aerial display. I expect black bears in the next couple days, cottonwood trees will pop soon and birch sap must be flowing. April 22 - black bear sow and cub spotted, birch sap is running, cottonwood trees yet to pop open. Windy from north, expect change in weather pattern. Soil is drying. April 23 - early morning snow.
By late February, the grass covering the hills surrounding Napa Valley has turned from golden brown to vibrant green, and local vintners are starting to evaluate how their wines have aged in barrel over the winter. It's also when the Napa Valley Vintners hosts its annual Premiere Napa Valley auction, featuring barrel lots and smaller offerings of wine.