Spring is late

Spring is late; summer is on its way. It was the fifth day of May and yet it was the first day that it was warm enough for me to take my morning coffee outside to enjoy it while sitting in the sunshine.

As there was a bit of a breeze that crossed our front porch, where I quite often park my butt, I wandered a little further out and found a chair that had been placed out of the wind beside one of our outbuildings.

From this spot, I could see what was going on in almost any direction. While I sat and sipped, this is what I saw: A pair of Canada geese, their usual loud honking toned to a minimum, crossed the hillside and dipped down out of sight, and I could tell by their increased friendly gabble that they had landed on our farm pond. From the top of a post that cornered the buck goat’s enclosure, a meadowlark marked his return by singing his song loud and clear.

From further out, a black and white bobolink sang his bubbly little ditty as he flew high over the not-yet-leafed-out wild thorn that survived the hurricane four years previous. Combing the hillside looking for creepy-crawlies was a flock of starlings that probably numbered close to a hundred.

On the short-cut, just-greening-up lawn behind the workshop, a dozen or more robins hopped about, periodically flying up into each other’s faces, apparently sorting out their pecking order. As no feathers were flying, I suspect it was a social squabble.

From high up in the sky, over the hedgerow cresting the hillside, a pair of black ducks, cutting their flight short, took what looked to me like a broken wing tumble, straight down, directly over where our out-of-sight pond is situated. Their quack, quack, quack indicated to me that they had happily landed to share the pond with the geese – which, incidentally, were shortly joined by another pair of geese that flew in low, low over the still-brown hayfield. Their greeting gabble indicated to me that there would be no contest regarding nesting locations. I’ll expect two flocks of young goslings following their mums on the pond this year.

Incidentally, too, a couple of days previous, I saw a pair of wood ducks rise up off of the pond. Topping my “do now” list is a wood duck nesting box. I should have put one up there late last fall when a hole could have been punched into the ice and a steel stake pounded in for support. But I didn’t, so I guess I’ll have to learn how to walk on water. I heard it’s been done before, so wish me luck.

As I tipped the last sip from my coffee cup, a barn swallow almost clipped my visor, and a pair of tree swallows voiced their excitement on finding a new nest box that I had just recently put up for them. I had put it there because a pair of bluebirds had claimed the one they nested in last year.

As I was about to rise, the bantams and doves scattered for cover in their enclosure. Unseen by me, and me unseen by it, a vulture flew low, low over my outdoor enclosures. It was, I’m sure, just looking for a free lunch, but not having live-trapped any rats lately, I had nothing to offer. The moment it saw me it turned abruptly and flew away uttering some obscene comments. He was lucky I didn’t understand his language ‘cause I probably would have thrown a brick at him.

It is time now that I go feed my birdies.

Take care, ’cause we care.





Barrie Hopkins