We have had a short stretch of exceedingly good weather up here in cattle country.

There have been a couple of good rain showers but they have come, pitter-pattering down, during the wee, small hours of the night. There seems to have been several daytime thundershowers in our area, but they have passed north and south of our location.

This past midweek as I sat nibbling my lunch on the east-facing front porch, a handful of dark clouds drifted in, bringing with them a couple of rumbling thunder grumbles with matching flashes of lightning and a downpour of rain that lasted about three and one-half minutes and then the sun came out. But somehow I felt ripped off. Where the heck was the rainbow? It just didn’t show up.

However, several species of birds did appear on our short-cut lawn. First to show up was an unnumbered flock of starlings, but a clap of my hands sent them off in the direction from where they had come. Then came what appeared to be three pair of robins with several speckle-breasted young, which seemed to hop in every direction at once. They were joined by two pair of bluebirds and their young. It seemed that each species was looking for its particular choice of insect. The robins were pulling out the large, long dew worms, while the bluebirds seemed to prefer the cutworms and smaller creepy-crawlers that my eyesight could not identify.

The passing rain seemed to bring out a lot of birds to feed. At our bird feeder were the usual saucy little chickadees, a visit from both the resident cardinal and rose-breasted crossbeak, while on the ground below the feeder were a trio of mourning doves. And yes, once again, further down the driveway were mother killdeer and her four almost fully grown young.

Over the hill, out of sight, back by our pond area, there must have been some kind of disturbance. First from the pond a pair of blue herons took to the air while uttering their awkward croaks. These were followed almost immediately by the pair of sandhill cranes that frequent the area quite often.

The brightness of the sun soon brought out a raft of butterflies. Though I did not see any monarchs, I did see several of their look-alike viceroys. And the white cabbage butterflies came out in number to puddle around the water-retaining depressions in our driveway. These were mingled with the brighter sulphur-colored alfalfa butterflies that had fluttered in from the hay fields. Also fluttering from flower to flower of the patch of wave petunias was a red admiral and sunning itself on the porch railing was a mourning cloak, while across the yard flitted a large yellow swallowtail.

Is it any wonder why, when I see the beauty of all the natural things, that I often think that heaven and hell are right here on Earth?

Take care, ’cause we care.





Barrie Hopkins