The Great Blue heron I spotted along the river today has just returned from his winter home in central Florida. It must be strange to go from a lush green habitat down south to a half-frozen, snow-covered riverbank in Southwest Wisconsin. The springtime urge to migrate north is spurred on by very powerful instinctive emotions. Sometimes it just doesn't matter what's there waiting for you, you just have to get there. The inner urges of life are calling you to new beginnings that only Spring can promise.
If you're like me, you may read about environmental studies in the newspapers and magazines. Generally, they are very interesting—there are so many hard facts to learn and face up to. The studies being done in relation to global warming are always alarming and often very overwhelming. I know these studies are important to help us realize how critically vast this problem has become. I can't help thinking that if we put our positive energies at the very sources of what threatens the planet, we wouldn't see any more horror stories about global warming in the papers. The toughest problem the Earth has to deal with is us, of course, and the hardest growing problem that we face is how to live with the natural world and turn this mess around. There's one word that best describes what it is we all must do—sacrifice!
March in the Kickapoo Valley has been kind to us so far. The snow is half gone without flooding and the slow melt is appreciated. The snow is half gone without flooding, and the slow melt is appreciated. Looks like most of the deer will survive the winter, now that the snow has melted, exposing the food they need. I've been seeing a lot of deer bunched up together yet, and it's been a couple of weeks since I saw one with antlers. Most of the bucks have shed them, making them harder to distinguish from the does.
The crows are starting to feel their "springtime oats," and they fly around each other in courtship sky-games, chasing and dive-bombing each other for the right to occupy their favorite territories.
A few male Red-winged blackbirds showed up here on Tuesday—the first ones I have seen here since way back in November. Many folks don't consider it Spring until they hear the first song of these beautiful, black grassland birds. They too, are quick to establish the very best places to call their own, and eagerly await the return of the females.
Sometimes Spring does a little dance that's easy to follow; it's one step up and two steps back. Yesterday it was 45 degrees and sunny, and the signs of Spring were everywhere. The snow was melting, and the Geese were flying, along with the Red-winged blackbirds and the Purple Grackles. A major change came in the night and by mid-day on Friday, there was a carpet of 8-10 inches of new wet snow on the ground. It was very pretty, but kind of a letdown, as if Spring had taken a couple of steps backward.
It was the first full day of Spring and I needed something fitting to listen to for music. While searching for George Winston's "The Seasons," I came across his rendition of the Winter solstice. That seemed more fitting on such a Winter-like day. I guess Spring is like fine wine—it ain't ready 'till it's ready.
My full moon walk was beautiful, to say the least. There was a heavy, overcast sky, but the moon lit up the clouds, and the new white snow helped light up the bright night. I couldn't help thinking that it was the 21st of March and it should be different. But, I've learned to live life one day at a time, and take it as it comes. Sometimes Nature's trail leads you over green grass, and sometimes through the snow—it doesn't matter, as long as you are putting down tracks!
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