I know we are only days into the Russia Bad/Ukraine Good war. Long enough to prove once again what did not need to be reproved; war kills people. Photos show big holes punched through the walls of an inhabited apartment flat. Walls are concrete and hard. People are fleshy and soft. What more need we know? Both are destroyed. There, are you satisfied now you button pusher, trigger puller, missile aimer who stupidly thought “Gee I wonder what would happen if I just . . .?”
We are pretty sure how it will end. It’s not cat and mouse. It’s Bear and rabbit.
Seems I cannot do much of anything about that war of democratic incursion. I need something to shift my focus, freshen my nose hairs and give color to my scenery. Anything will do. And some things have been found. Not much mind you, but enough to let me know that life goes on and that is generally a good thing.
I am in search of Signs of Spring.
Last Tuesday coming home from a Lost River Market board meeting I was a little over a mile along Oak Grove Road and even with the van windows up I heard them; peepers, spring peepers; small male frogs crooning there best and loudest and fastest to beckon their sweethearts to “come unto me”. That is a sure sign that it’s warm enough for these mud dwellers to rise to the task of keeping their species around for another fertile year. Peepers, Sign of Spring number one.
My favorite audible Sign of Spring has yet to be heard. If there is any other flying or grounded object that sounds like the warble-gargle of a sand hill crane I’ve never heard it. I love these gangly gobbling wide winged red heads. We are fortunate to be at about the halfway mark along their migration trail to and from Alberta — Dakotas — MN — WI — IL — Indiana and on down into Georgia. But not so far. I’m waiting impatiently for this Sign of Spring. “Wargle”, that’s the word I was looking for. But wait!
Several years ago, a small cohort of cranes had settled in our pasture by the pond. Stupid boy that I am I walked the outer path toward them. The sentry saw me and spread the alarm. Flappity-flip-flap and up they did go; 20 or so plus, TA-DA, one whooping crane who slid into his/her place at the end of the right wing of the chevron. My gosh!
I mention the pond. Not much of one but it’s there and seldom goes dry, and a persistent leak keeps it tamed. We are out walking our Windsong acres more now and each time check out what the pond factory is producing. Ice for a week or so. Then emergence of shivering, cloudy algae.
Day before yesterday the first salamander appeared. Right on time because yesterday we sighted dime- and eraser head-sized tadpoles. Black heads with wriggly tails long enough to out swim the salivating salamanders. Law of the watery jungle. Not great for the tads but good as another Sign of Spring.
Since I didn’t rake last fall, I don’t rake. Am I bad? it takes a lot of strength for any green shoots to squeeze through and be seen. But a few, very few, greenies are muscling their way into view. Just enough to be another Sign of Spring.
There are a couple more such signs. We caught sight of a flight of cedar waxwings flitting around the edge of the woods. I read that we are part of their normal year-round habitat but I think they were headed north to their summer homes to cuddle and couple and continue waxwing traditions.
We recently got weeks worth of April Showers in a couple of late February days. So lots and lots of rain flooded our little creek which shoved its leafy fall squatters further on down the line. Did the pond good, too. More Spring Signs.
Tuesday late afternoon I went to the First (and Only) Presbyterian Church in Paoli to pick up something and in our summertime pretty, wintertime grey/brown garden by the parking lot my eye was grabbed by a burst of yellow. It ought not yet to be there but it was. A daffodil smaller than a thimble but a leader of lads and lasses to follow. “Hi, little daffy. Good to see you.” I think it nodded back. A warming Sign of Spring.
Yesterday on our walk the sky was blue, blue and even more blue. Literally as far as the eye could see. No hint of those wintry ladened clouds that gloom across the moors. Just blue of sky and a daffodil sun. The colors of the Ukrainian flag by the way.
If only these Signs of Spring could show through the clouds of war. Sigh.
While you are out looking for your Signs of Spring remember to Keep the Faith, Do the Job and Ask for Help.
Just now at 2:10 p.m., Thursday, 3/3/2022, I went out to the shop and I heard them; Sandhills! Not many but even one. Spring is sprunging. Yea.