Walking to the lake with the dogs yesterday, I didn’t see many signs of spring… but I heard them. Foremost on the soundtrack: the alarm-clock buzz of the varied thrush, unseen, calling from the woods, heralding the season as he does each year. A red squirrel stopped directly overhead on a branch and opened his mouth to let loose such a torrent of squirrel invective that Bella and I both stopped in our tracks, astounded by the vehemence of his outburst. The low percussive hoot of the Sooty Grouse floated down from the hillsides, a strange noise, like blowing air over the mouth of a bottle. From on high, the derisive, sarcastic laugh of the bald eagles, already paired and nested. Closer to the lake, the metronomic whistle of the Northern Pygmy Owl, a diurnal fellow, despite his genus, staking out his territory (successfully? I did only hear the one.) Not far off, the jackhammer of a woodpecker of some kind (Red-breasted Sapsucker, most likely.) Along the trail, In the underbrush, the squeak and chitter of the chestnut backed chickadees, at least that is who I think it was, they were just a flutter of small shapes in shadows. On the water, the low gabble and bicker of the Mergansers. I saw a few American Dippers, uncharacteristically quiet, admiring their reflections. At the overflow, a Belted Kingfisher maintained a dignified silence before flying off, wingtips just off the water. (Clicking on each animal’s name should open a page where you can hear their call…)
Passing by Eldridge Rock Lighthouse on the ferry. Sun trying to come out. From snow to rain to sun and back, this is a season of quick turns.
On the ultrasound, at 23 weeks, she sticks out her tongue, she yawns, she sucks her thumb, she stretches, she kicks me in the ribs…
Bella of the Far North - I would write the story but if Bella is going to be the heroine I would have to write quite a bit about eating things of questionable provenance and then being sick in the front hall.
After the Equinox - The days are getting longer and the sun is getting stronger. In the meantime we are getting in our last bit of winter fun. It looks like she is waving: ‘Bye winter, see you next year!
"This story starts out a little sad, Mom, but it has a happy ending," she told when me they got home. It started with the face paint. At her request her sister did a wonderful job turning her into a Dalmation. The crowning touch were the dog ears from an earlier Halloween costume. Then they went out for a walk. It was in the middle of the bridge that disaster struck . While peering over the railing the ears came off and fell right into the river. Her quick thinking grandfather ran back up to the house, came back with the fishing rod, and caught the floating ears on his second cast. Our hero!
Such a great visit with Mom and Dad. Lots of skiing and clear, bright days. I loved sharing my home and my girls and my life.