Not so long ago, this tiny valley was a winter wonderland, but all memories of that scene have faded away. This evening's view of the valley is quite the opposite—it's a lush, green, dripping wet rainforest. It's a beautiful sight, and one that tells a new chapter of how this little valley comes alive each Spring.
Winter wasn't such a distant memory early this morning, as a light frost covered the perennials in the gardens. Some, like the foot-tall Poppies, looked a little droopy at sun-up, but they should bounce back. I did have enough sense to try and cover some of the lilacs, but the bushes have grown a couple of feet since last year, and the frost wasn't hard enough to do any damage. Still, it's hard to believe the difference just half a day makes—from frost to rainforest, from firing the woodstove to relaxing on the back porch. That's what spring is like here in this beautiful Kickapoo Valley.
I recently received a nice email from a friend and fellow employee, Brandy. She described in detail the family of foxes that have returned to a den on their farm. Ah, there's nothing like seeing little fox kits playing in the grass. I could see them in my mind as she told her story—fuzzy little red balls of fun and wonder.
While I walked the path that winds through the meadow this morning, a doe blew at me from the edge of the woods. The snorting cough she made was her way of warning me that she is on guard. When I stopped and looked over that way, she snorted again, and this time stomped her hoof on the ground. There's a pretty good chance that there were a fawn or two nearby. I strained to catch a glimpse of one, but I was too far away, and the cover was too thick. I went on my way down the trail, knowing I'd catch a glimpse of the fawns sooner or later.
Along the pastured banks of the Kickapoo River, the Canada geese stand guard while their little goslings search the grass for bugs. The warm morning sun is where they want to start each new day. The Wood duck too has guided her troop of tiny little ducklings to the open pond to get full advantage of the sun's warming rays. She keeps her head high, and watches for any danger as her new family nibbles at the duckweed.
The brand new fawns are trying out their long legs, and soon the doe will lead them away to a safer place. The place of their birth will draw predators, so the fawns will need to move on.
The Bank swallows are busy catching flying insects to take back to their mud nests under the bridge. It's a busy time for the swallows, with so many new mouths to feed, but the river environment will provide them with what they need to carry on from generation to generation.
There are so many stories of rebirth in nature this time of year, that it's overwhelming when you start to count them. Every new life overlaps and complements the next, as Spring unfolds its beautiful petals before our eyes.
All art ©2013 Organic Valley