I’m thinking the peepers I heard talking of spring a few weeks ago knew what they were chirping about. We are in for a prolonged bout of above-normal temperatures, and the plants and animals in my yard are responding accordingly.
The buds on my flowering apricots will be fully open by this afternoon. I’m looking forward to visiting them daily to inhale their fragrance — my own personal aroma therapy sessions.
Daffodils all over the yard are poking their leaves through the mulch — green swords saluting the sun’s warmth. I’m always amazed at how fast the bright yellow flowers appear after the leaves have found daylight.
Many varieties of daffodils adorn my landscape. Voles and deer don’t eat them, they multiply enthusiastically, but not invasively, and they bring sunshine to the inevitable chilly cloudy days that always trouble the transition from winter to spring. When the weather seers warn me of such a spell, I go out and cut at least a dozen sun-topped stems to bring into the house. Their light and fragrance remind me that better weather days are near.
The Red-Shouldered Hawks I’ve written about are putting the final touches on their nest. Just as the dawn light brightened enough this morning for me to see the outlines of the trees, my eye caught the dark shadow of a hawk flying to the nest. A quick look through the spotting scope showed Mrs. Hawk wrestling with a large and apparently unruly stick. It had become tangled with some of the other sticks in the nest. I watched her grab the uncooperative stick in her mighty beak, open her wings wide for balance, then yank backwards with all her might until the stick came free. She bit it into several smaller pieces and arranged them around the top of the nest before flying off for more sticks.
When I was out on the floodplain taking a few photos this morning, both of the hawks complained loudly when I came within about 800 feet of the nest tree on the other side of the creek. I apologized for my intrusion, but did manage to capture these snow drops dancing in morning light for your viewing pleasure.