Red-tailed Hawk Feather

moon phase Week of 05/06/2007 Plant late beets, potatoes, onions, carrots and other root crops.

The warm spring rain wasn't much more than a heavy drizzle, but it's amazing how quickly things greened up. I couldn't believe how many new sights there were as I followed the same trail I took 3 days before. A warm, sweet rain, like the one today, is always fun to take a walk in. Besides making everything so green, the fresh spring rain always seems to make the birds sing. They sound like songbirds in the shower—you know, the way people are said to sing sometimes.

Red-tailed Hawk Feather

The gentle rain danced off the delicate petals of the tiny, white Bloodroot and pretty pink Dutchman's breeches. How happy they look with their lovely flowers spread to greet the raindrops. I walk through a velvet blanket of wild ginger. Their shiny wet leaves of lush, dark green make the forest floor come alive. Along the path, some little blue violets have appeared from nowhere. They are small but sweet as any. "Sweet violets, sweeter than the roses..."

From the cedar trees comes the song of a White-throated sparrow. "Old man Peabody, peabody, peabody." It's one of my favorite spring songs and adds a little more heat to my spring fever.

Last night I heard the first trill of an American toad. He's emerged and can't wait to sing "his" spring song. The spring peepers have taken their frog music to another level; now they all peep together as one. There have been some flying insects out and about, and sure enought the swallows and chimney swifts showed up yesterday to dine. It's neat how they know when the insects come out and there's something to eat again.

Just before sun-up Monday morning, a frisky little House wren made his first appearance. Of course I heard his warbling song before I saw him checking out the hanging gourd-birdhouse under the back porch. It was a nice morning, about 45 degrees, but I was kind of surpised to see him. I didn't expect to see wrens for another week.

Last Wednesday I was lucky enough to spot a Brown Creeper shimmying up the trunk of a tree next to the house. At first glance, I thought he was a Nuthatch, but I got a good look at his brown plumage when he came back around to my side of the tree.

The lilacs have all leafed out and little cone-shaped clumps of purple flowerbuds are starting to form. Looks like we'll have plenty of lilac blossoms if it doesn't freeze again. Last spring I covered the Lilac bushes three times to protect them from frost. It's what you have to do if you want that wonderful aroma drifting out through the yard.

The wild nettles have been quite delicious this spring, and the mint growing along the creek is nice just to crush between your fingers. A single leaf of mint on your tongue will wake you right up, besides freshening your breath.

I spotted something lying out in the open, sticking out like a sore thumb. A single flight feather from the wing of a Red-tailed hawk had fallen from the heavens and returned to Earth, landing in an appropriate place, last summer's dried, dead greass. Both the beautiful feather and the grass will soon be replaced with the new.

There's so much to see, hear, taste and smell this time of year. So much comes at once, like it did over the past three days. It's almost overwhelming. Each day holds new surprises and spring is more breathtaking with each enhancement.

Naturally yours,
Dan

All art ©2013 Organic Valley

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