moon phase Week of 04/17/2005 Best days to plant starts.

As spring brings warmth and new beginnings, love is in the air. Its alluring powers change the attitudes of all living things. The beautiful new wildflowers open up, offering themselves to insect passersby. Honeybees dance around the pretty stalks of Dutchman's breeches and the showy white petals of the Bloodroot plant. Love comes in hues of pink, as the Spring beauties reveal their tiny faces. A hundred yards away, the large white blossoms of the Trilliums unfurl. Many other wildflowers are making their annual appearances, from the rich yellow Marsh marigold blossoms to the pale blue petals of Hepatica that band together to lay an inviting blanket of color on the forest floor.


Lovely blue violets smile up from their cool spot near the pines, reminding me of my grandmother, who had this flower as her namesake. The leaves on the lilacs are about the size of a rabbit's ear, and already there are little lavender flower buds forming at the ends of the branches. I'll have to remember to toss a sheet over them Wednesday night, because there's a chance of frost. There's nothing like the scent of lilac floating in the air, and I don't want to take a chance on missing that wonderful, soothing fragrance this year.

From now until fall, the insects will join in a fruitful romance with the plants. The insects in turn will fuel the romancing of many a songbird. A tree swallow has arrived today and is diving down over the garden. He twitters cheerfully as he catches tiny insects in midair. A swallow is a sign that from now on, there will be enough insects around for a steady bird diet. Many other insect-eating birds are migrating back to the area now.

Mister House Wren showed up the morning to check out the living quarters I've provided. His high-pitched, gurgling song tells me he's excited and happy, and I know his mate will arrive soon. He must get busy surveying and readying the place before she gets here.

Two shiny, dark Purple grackles face each other, displaying their glimmering plumage. They toss their heads back and flash their golden-yellow eyes for all to see. Holding their wings up, they rise up and let out a rasping, "chack!" The two are in love, but not with each other.

A handsome male Kestrel chatters loudly as he flies up to the nesting box. In his sharp talons he clutches a fat, brown meadow vole—a gift for his true love. She is nestling their clutch of eggs, and she calls with excitement in response when she hears him coming. He ducks into the nesting hole and they greet each other with a duet of chattering. After their brief rendezvous, the male kestrel flies off, back to patrolling his kingdom.

Each day, love stories are unfolding all around us. By spending time outside, simply watching and listening, you can almost feel the romance of the season. If you are needing some love in your heart. nature can show you which path to take.

All art ©2013 Organic Valley

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