The way the weather has been progressing, one would think it's the first week in May! With a temperature of 80 degrees today—not to mention the April showers that came a couple of times this week—it's easy to forget it's still only March.
For the first time since the last week of September, I let the fire in the wood stove go out. It was so nice, that I decided to open a couple of windows and let the outside come in. And it did come in, in the form of the first song of a Phoebe. He sang his name to me, "Phoebe, Phoebe," and it was like hearing from an old friend.
Warm rains melted the remaining snow and thawed the soil, and within a couple of days there were the first fresh glimpses of the color green. The moist scent of the earth fills my head with scenes of freshly turned soil, and Marsh marigolds in full bloom along the creek. The reality though, is that it's still only March, and the weather will no doubt get colder a couple times yet. My diminishing pile of firewood reminds me to think about the date. There has always been a small, early morning fire in my wood stove until the first week of May in years past, and I would be very surprised if it doesn't happen this year.
The day after the rain came, ponds and backwaters along the Kickapoo River came alive with the music we've all been waiting to hear. The beautiful chorus of the Spring peepers fills the air with a million tiny voices. Tiny, but when all are singing together, it's like their voices are rising up from inside the bosom of mother earth. The frog music is at times so loud, it becomes mesmerizing. I have to just stand quietly and listen to Spring's wake-up call.
From the open window this morning came the call of a Yellow-bellied sapsucker. He has just returned and he joins the other birds in their morning songs. I stood out on the back porch to get a better look at him with the binoculars. While I was standing there taking in the fresh new day, a pair of handsome male Bluebirds landed in a bush of pretty pussy willows. Words can't describe how beautifully blue they truly are when seen close up. Seeing them reminded me of the two unfinished Bluebird houses in the basement. Time to stop procrastinating and get them out so the birds can find them.
After such long cold months, it's sometimes hard to shift out of the low, slow winter gear into high-gear spring action. All of a sudden, life is moving faster, and there seem to be many things that need to be done—things like cleaning out the birdhouses, picking up sticks in the yard, raking debris in the garden and so on. These are all great excuses for being outside where you can see, hear and smell all the wonderf
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