It was a week of sweet fragrances. From all over the yard they drift by my nose, no matter where I stand, and I find myself lifting my chin to breathe in deeply through my nostrils. Taking in the sweet aroma of the flowers sends a gentle massage directly to my brain, and softens my attitude.
Some flowers have a more subtle scentónot to say they don't smell beautiful, but you have to stick your nose into the petals to get a good sample of their fragrance. The three flowers that are now in bloom are bolder about how they send their scent on the air. The black locust trees near the stream are in full bloom. It's a lovely sight to see a large tree covered in creamy white bunches of blossoms. The branches are thick with blossoms, yet there are no leaves. The locust tree will send out its leaves only after it blooms, making it the last tree to get leaves in the spring. The sweet scent of the locust blossoms is more like perfume and it's no wonder the bees are so drawn to them.
The row of tall grape irises send their grape aroma on the breeze, and I can smell them from a hundred feet away. The peonies always make me stop and sniff the air as I pass by. Ah! The sweet smell of summer.
The fireflies have been out in good numbers the past few nights. What a beautiful sight at twilight: Hundreds of twinkling fireflies dancing over the lush green meadow. It's the stuff that good dreams are made of, and I enjoy watching them as much now as I did when I was a boy.
The young Red tailed hawks that were raised in a stick nest in an oak tree across the road are nearly ready to fledge. For a month they have grown, and now they are ready to make their first attempts at flying. More often than not, that first haphazard flight may end up on the ground, but only for a few minutes. It isn't long before he flies up to a wooden fencepost. The young hawk surveys his new surroundings while a pair of Bank swallows dive bomb him from above. He doesn't feel very welcome here, so he finds a branch in a nearby leafy tree, a better perch. This is a much cooler place to be, but it's no secret where he is. In no time a Jenny wren and a sassy chickadee are scolding him from the nearby branches. Then a bluebird and a robin join in to voice their objection to the hawk being in their territory. Of course there's also the noisy "beeping" from the ever-present, white-breasted nuthatch.
It's late afternoon and the young hawk is feeling the pangs of hunger, so he starts to call out for food. His high-pitched calls continue for about half an hour before his mother finally shows up with dinner. A fat, fresh, ground squirrel is quickly passed to the anxious youngster. Day One pretty much goes like that, and so will the days that follow, until the young hawk figured out how to catch his own meals. It usually takes them about two weeks to master the art of catching frogs, grasshoppers, and an occasional snake. Catching voles may take a little longer to get the hang of. This week's new flowers include the pretty Blue spiderwort and the rich, dark pink of the wild Prairie rose (rosa arkansana).
Midsummer's promise is seen in the long snow-white blossoms of the wild blackberries. The hot orange faces of the little hawkweeds peer out from the short grass, and a gorgeous, tall Lupine is in full brilliant blue bloom in the garden. The yellow Swallow-tailed butterflies have been showing up to visit the flower gardensónot too many, but enough to brighten my day.
Spring is about the simple and the obvious, the subtle, the bold, and the beauty of life. Spring is aboutónature. I hope your spring has brought you closer to what is real in your life. Mother Nature will always offer you that truth.
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