It was a very exciting week outside your window and you had to notice how things are changing. A little on the cool side and there was some rain and some frosty mornings. The forest canopy is beginning to leaf out, but because of the cool weather, the dense green is coming slowly. Just one warm 75°, sunny day and the leaves will burst completely into green splendor.
Pulling weeds in the gardens is something I do a little of each day, and has become a challenge. I know if I'm diligent about pulling them now, that it will make for less work as spring ripens into summer. It's also a chance to get down on my knees and get my hands in the soil. Getting dirty hands is a sure sign that you've been reverent with the Earth. Someone with grass-stained feet is a person that knows what it feels like to be grounded, a special feeling and one that is easy to experience.
Some of the most aggressive weeds this time of year are Nettles, Dandelions, Canada Goldenrod, Creeping Charlie, Chickweed and Yellow Rocket (mustard.) It always is ironic, each spring some of the flowerbeds become too thick with Violets, and get pulled like the rest of the weeds. For whatever reason you pull weeds, the bottom line is that you're outside rubbing shoulders with Mother Nature.
That reminds me, to wish Happy Mother's day to our Mother Earth and to all the Mothers she has inspired to carry on her natural ways. Every day is their day.
On Tuesday, the Baltimore Orioles were busy eating the orange halves I put out for them and the chatter of a Yellow-bellied sapsucker was heard from the cedar trees. I noticed the first pretty blue half of a Robin's egg in the grass. The new baby Robins have come out to see the world.
On Wednesday, I picked a few small branches of wild Plum blossoms to put in a vase on the kitchen table. I can't resist the chance to have their sweet scent in the house for a few days. I was in the right place at the right time as I stood under the plum trees. Three striking, male White-crowned sparrows sang their pretty Spring songs as they hopped from branch to flowery branch. Blossoms and birds always go so nicely together and are a treat to see. The White-throated sparrow's beautiful song is "teeer, weet, witti, whit chu see," or "Here, wee Willie, what d'ya see?"
A pair of dark orange Orchard Orioles joined the Baltimore Orioles at the oranges today, but they had moved on before dark. They were gone, but replaced by three deep blue Indigo buntings who forgot their shyness and ate sunflower seeds with the Rose-breasted grosbeaks and goldfinches at the birdfeeder. Joining them were several bright red Cardinals. The feeder became alive with the colors that will last all summer.
On Thursday it was the cat-call of a catbird that started the day. He is another vocal bird that will stay here for the summer. In the late afternoon, the sweet melodic song of a Swainson's thrush came drifting down from the woods. "Oh, Curdle wheedle sweet," from somewhere under the May apples, ferns and wild ginger. Yet another new song from the willows along the creek that flows through the meadow: "che bec, che bec," repeated over and over. The tiny Least flycatcher, no bigger than a chickadee, twitches his tail as he sings his heart out to let everyone know that this part of the world is his.
Friday morning, from deep in the now-lush woods, came the familiar song of yet another thrush who has just returned. The most musical song of all the thrushes comes from the throat of the Wood thrush. Like the pure, liquefied notes of a flute, his song seems to echo, "Ah-o-lee; -a-o-lah; ee-dle-eet," the last note high and thin. The wood thrush is sometimes called the "rainbarrel bird," because his song sounds distant, like it's coming from inside a rain barrel.
Spring teaches us something new every day, and reminds us of those things we have already learned.
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