It’s here

Yes Sir. And all other characters before, aft’ and in between; spring is here. I have just spent a series of interesting days, in both sunshine and rain, up at my son’s family farm. It was a pleasant time for me as I wondered about seeing how many early returning birds have arrived back.

The birds that come back this early are usually the ones that feed on the ground, picking up worms and winter dried berries and all the other little creepy crawlers that thrive neath the dead grass and decomposing leaf rubble.

The first that got my attention was a robin that repeatedly flew up under the canopy that is over the entrance door of the workshop.

There was no place there for her to land but she repeatedly tried again and again. It was not until I woke to reality that the trees in which they last year nested were riddled by the last August tornado, and removed, she was simply searching for a place to nest. So I put up a couple of little shelves up neath the eaves. I hope she will come back and find them there.

The second that I saw was a lone male bluebird  that was perched on the twisted strands of the downed wire fence.

He was looking for the nest-box in which they had last year nested twice, but was no longer there in the cluster of four tall red pine that were completely wind demolished in seconds. I hope shortly to get back up and replace the two dozen or more birdhouses that  once were. But I’ll have to mount the new ones on steel posts as it will be years before the new replacement trees, now planted, will be large enough to support them.

On the other hand I swear I could see the smiles on the kissers of a pair of killdeer, as they scampered from  one to the other of the many scraped bare spots left by the heavy equipment during the new construction. Killdeer are basically  structured as  shore birds but have adapted well to inland life, nesting on the patches of pebbles that camouflage them and their same coloured eggs. There are so many such areas that it will be interesting to see which is chosen by them as a nest site in which they will hatch their four speckled eggs.

Though not back yet but due to return shortly, are the barn and cliff swallows, which for years built their mud nest cups clinging to the rough bark of the giant old timbers that supported the floor of the age old barn. A barn which no longer exists, a barn which is adequately replaced by the new which suits the more modern farming needs, but leans little to the needs of the swallows.

I have designed and built quite a number of little shelves which I hope to mount neath the eaves of the existing familiar workshop. It is hoped that they will find them as suitable substitute nesting sites. It would sadden me greatly not to have them skimming the lawns as we cut the acres of grass while mowing.

Gone with the wind, too, are the bird feeders, including the little hummingbird feeder that hung on the end of the porch. That, too, must be replaced.

 One of the joys of country living is watching the action and interaction of the  wildlife in the area.

Often we see deer and we hear the chorus of the coyotes at night, and the gobble of a flock of resident wild turkeys in the early hours of dawn. The intricate network of nature has always intrigued me.

Both sunrise and sunset are the most interesting times for me.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins