The sun has gone down and it's starting to get kinda dark, but I want to finish turning over the soil for a new flower garden. I was a little tired, but using the spade has loosened me up and I feel pretty good! Besides, it's a beautiful time of the year to be outside at twilight. It's one of the things I truly love about the Kickapoo Valley. There is still enough light to make out the lush, green woods on the hillside and I could still see the little Brown bats as they flutter against the deep blue night sky. The shoveling was getting old by then, but I was enjoying the moment all the same.
The song of the whip-poor-will from up the valley reminded me that a beautiful spring day continues into the night. The distant peeping of the Spring peepers drifts to my ears from a small pond down the valley. From the trees across the road comes the bird-like song of a Gray tree frog. It seems a little early in the season to be hearing him but there he was nonetheless. These are just some of the night songs that I've waited to hear all year. There's something very soothing about the night songs that allows a person to completely relax. That's something few of us have a chance to do these days. For those among us who can't remember what it's like to simply be relaxed, take my word for it—being outside on a Spring night like this is guaranteed to let you know. Give Nature a chance, listen and feel the relaxing rhythm of life going on around you and it will change your attitude and tune-up your heart. It's as easy as being outside at twilight.
At sunup, a flash of orange caught my eye near a bird feeder outside the window. Perched in the green leafy branches was the first Baltimore oriole. He's right on time and dressed for the occasion—a sight to behold and definitely a summer bird. The orioles always wait to show up just at the time the trees are about to "leaf out." At this point in Spring, in just a few days the wooded landscape turns to Emerald green. This is the week the Bluebells cover the river bottoms in blankets of soft blue and the fancy white Trilliums burst open against dark green leaves. Tiny, pale blue Anemone are spread out across the forest floor. The May apples put up their green umbrellas to hide the little gray Morel mushrooms who are peeking up through last autumn's dry leaves. I'm always impressed at how many ways Mother Nature can surprise me each day around leaf out time. Things are coming fast now and if we get some rain they will speed up even more.
The early May full moon was so bright that the moonlight coming through my window lit up my face and woke me up in the middle of the night. As long as I was awake I took a look outside and could hardly believe how bright the night was. Every full moon is special, but this May is a Blue Moon, which means there are two full Moons in the same month. The Blue Moon will be on May 31st.
More blue to start the day today, as an Indigo Blue Bunting lit on a leaf-covered branch right outside my back door. His cheery song is always a welcome treat. Next I heard another new birdsong from across the road. A beautiful Brown thrasher sings his vast assortment of different songs from near the creek. He was easy to spot, with his rusty brown coat and long tail and sporting a spotted white breast.
The fiddle-heads of the ferns are a foot tall and soon they will unfold their lush green leaves. The Trilliums are starting to bloom and are no doubt the most beautiful white flower on the forest floor. At the edge of the woods, the most fragrant white flowers are in bloom. The dark, thorny branches of the wild plums are covered with tiny white blossoms. I can smell their sweet perfume from 20 yards away. The two apple trees in the yard are also showing off their pink and white blossoms. The blossoms are good news—the promise of apples later in the summer.
The lilacs too are opening up their rich purple flowers. Their sweet aroma drifts across the yard, making for the best aromatherapy.
The Robins and Nuthatches are already sitting on their eggs. The Robins nested in the pine tree and a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches built their nest in a Bluebird house near my clothesline.
This is one of Nature's busiest times of the year, as we witness the blending of the seasons, Spring quickly making its way into Summer.
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