They’re back

The past couple of days have been a rather interesting time for me.

The weather has finally warmed up sufficiently to allow me, though heavily jacketed, to wonder and wander on windless days outside in the sunshine. My wandering now has been upgraded quite nicely. I can conveniently wander quietly around and about while sitting on my butt.

No, you are wrong. I am not squatting astride a skateboard. I tried that once, in a younger year, and not intentionally. I tripped on a curb and landed on the board. Needless to say, I was not enchanted, though I did get a snicker or two from the mixed group of teenagers who were hanging around. When they saw that I wasn’t hurt, their snickers broke into laughter.

If you can’t fight ‘em join ‘em, so said someone smarter than me, so that’s just what I did.

Actually, I tuck my butt between the convenient up-swinging armrests of one of those battery-powered gizmos that I affectionately refer to as Jenny, my jitney. Jenny is one of the most docile little companions who will respond to the touch of a hand. Forward on the right hand and backwards on the left, and off we go, on wheels that purr like a kitten, guided by the touch of a finger.

The advantage of this, I can go anywhere the ground is reasonably level, and I can go slowly or rapidly wherever and whenever I should so desire. This allows me to actually creep up quite close to the birds that I happen to be watching.

Though slow in coming because of the lingering snow and cold weather, they have arrived now in flocks. Within a half hour this past day, I saw half a dozen geese break flight from a larger flock and with back-stroking wings abruptly descend  in the general direction of our out-of-sight pond. While listening to their gabble, I heard well off to my distant left and high, high in the sky, another long familiar bell-toned sound.

Just as the sun broke through the cloud cover, I could see it reflecting off of their shining widespread wings. They must have numbered a hundred or more, flying in a lopsided V, with one side trailing the other by perhaps 30 birds or more. There is nothing more beautiful than the sight in flight of a large flock of Tundra swans heading north to their faraway nesting grounds. If I had the wings of an angel, I’d be tempted to follow them.

While I gawked at the swans, a robin almost landed on my foot. The flip of its wings close over my head startled me, and while I watched it flipping some thawed-out leaves, looking for worms beneath, a pair of bluebirds warbled from a short length of decorative rail fence. Beyond that, while scampering across a black patch of exposed garden soil, a pair of killdeer plovers uttered their plaintive calls again, once again, and again.

It is time for me now to guide Jenny, my jitney, back to the sun-drenched front porch. It is there where I usually day-dream, munch both breakfast and lunch, and on occasion sneak a noon snooze.

 But before I do just that let me remind you to mark your calendar. The Saugeen Valley Fur and Feather Fanciers Association is holding its Buy Sell Trade Day at the Mount Forest fairgrounds on April 26 from 7am until noon. There is a $10 cost-recovery charge for each vehicle entry at the gate, with ample free parking surrounding the park. Let me also remind you no dogs or cats on that day, as we have had too many out of control problems in the past.

 Take care, ‘cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins