Ponder this:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Backyard spring evening

It is just warm enough to sit outside with my book, the dogs having their supper picnic-style on the patio. It's useless to try to read; I'm surrounded by a bird Tower of Babel, each species enthusiastically calling in its own language.

The blackbirds are burring from every direction: Borrr-geeeek! Borrr-geeek! Less often, the jittery aggressive kihkihkihkihkih of the robins. The crows, who a few weeks ago were the only birds I heard, laughing like loud old whiskey drunks, are much less noticeable now.

The sun slanting across the lawn sparkles on the fine threads of the tiny spiders that hatch and launch themselves onto the breeze . . . the single strand of silk their only tether to what they know of the universe.

The hearty buzz of a passing fly.

The breeze brings the perfume of a flower I cannot yet identify. I will, in a minute. It is sweet, would be cloying if it had not passed with the air. It is the plum tree. The fruit, fresh from the branch, will be sour and inedible.

The bees are a warm hum in the blossoms. Our own hives have been abandoned and I wonder if these are relatives of the bees that we nurtured for a few years. I hope that in this wild and sacred place they will escape the virus that is wiping out honeybees elsewhere.

Down toward the woods, the lower brush has begun to glow Crayola spring green.

The fresh bright yellow-white wounds of the trees that were torn and broken in last December’s ice storm soon will be covered with greedy new growth and it will all become part of the familiar view.

Far down the field I hear a turkey clucking. This morning Husband attracted a hen, calling her across the field toward him where he sat on the patio with his coffee. When he called to me to see her, thirty feet from him, she turned and ran, waddling rapidly as turkeys do (they avoid taking flight in all but the greatest emergencies), directly back along the path she had come.

There are wispy clouds stretched along the horizon and the sun’s warmth is diminishing now.

In this light the topography of the surrounding hills becomes clearer….the main ridges still standing up in full light and the smaller ridges and clefts becoming defined by shadow.

A blackbird lands on a branch near me. He pushes out his call, his entire body and breast swelling with effort, wings strained out and back with the force of his enthusiasm.

There. The turkey again…..a real gubblegubblegubble this time; and again.

A redheaded woodpecker lands in the plum tree, just far enough behind a branch that I cannot see him clearly. He shakes his head quickly several times from side to side and then is gone.

Mourning doves, and a bird I don’t know with a Belafonte-like double-layered voice whistles a two-note song.

A bluebird has been sitting on the peach tree, which is, so far, bare of blossoms. Teasing me, showing me his buff parts but neither his bright breast nor his brilliant back. I give up and put down the camera and he swoops past me fifteen feet away, heading for one of the houses erected for his use.

The breeze has come up as the sun has gone down. It's time to go indoors and leave the show for tonight. The warmth held in the house will feel good.


Carolynn Anctil said...

Absolutely magnificent. I love your descriptions. I felt like I was there had a little zen moment. *sigh*

Tigerbi said...

Ahhhh, what a lovely portrait of Spring you paint.........your Mother was wise to name you June :)

Lynette said...

bluebirds? I don't think I've ever seen one. Are they making a comeback? Some people thought they had seen coyotes around here. I doubt it. I do see an occasional fox, and wish him well as he passes.

June said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
June said...

This area is a bluebird capital. The males are a welcome sight when they arrive for a week or so in January to scout out the best nesting sites. In the spring they return and show off their home sites and the wise females choose mates based on their real estate skills.

If you had seen a bluebird, you would certainly remember. They are the definition of "blue."

Tigerbi said...

The males are a welcome sight when they arrive for a week or so in January to scout out the best nesting sites. In the spring they return and show off their home sites and the wise females choose mates based on their real estate skills.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I SWEAR, I learn SO much from you !!!!!!!!!

Very interesting !!!!!!!!!! :)

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