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Tag: Spring

Springtime symphony

Springtime symphony

I can hear them tuning up. So can my spouse, whose cabin fever I’ll put up against any New Englander who thinks winter has been too darn long. My best friend, bless her, has impatiently awaited the assembly of the “garden corral” in the parking lot of the nearby Wal-Mart. As the first concrete blocks are placed to mark its boundaries, her heart begins to pitty-pat with an excitement I’m certain can be felt in the farm fields that surround…

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It lives!

It lives!

An ethereal blanket of translucent maroon — the color of shrubs in transition from the blah gray of the past few months to the green cloaking that soon will block the view of even large rocks more than about 50 feet distant — seems to flow like an incoming fog across the forest floor..

Snowthrower chronicles

Snowthrower chronicles

A couple of us were sitting around swapping tales of winter and keeping our coffee from getting cold. We all had seen snowy mornings, though not lately. Our first snowfall of the year had left about an inch on the ground. The resident Keeper of Order In the Home gave her permission to not even shovel.

Set it down, would ya, Jim

Set it down, would ya, Jim

Sugaring-off when I was a kid was a sure sign of summer’s on the way. Nights below freezing and days in the low to mid 40s made the sap run in the sugar maple trees. In those days, we donned snowshoes and hiked from tree to tree, boring a half-inch hole in each trunk, hammering in the spile, then hanging a collection bucket from an attached hook.

Getting warm(er)

Getting warm(er)

My best friend gave me an insulated vest for the days when I venture out into the winter air. Out my back window, most of the trees have taken the opposite approach, having shed their raiment and shut down their blood supplies to protect against the frigid winds of winter.

Wet cold days in quarantine

Wet cold days in quarantine

Some recent gray rainy days of “look but not too closely” at my fellow walkers have been cutting into my enjoyment of outdoors. I don’t need sunshine every day, but I have a rule I’ve stuck to as long as I can remember being allowed to make rules.

Letter from the wild side

Letter from the wild side

A reader emailed me this week to report on some wild goings on around his home. He chose the place, he said, after seeing pheasants and deer on the land, and “too many species of birds … to list.” he said.

Pairing up

Pairing up

Red-tailed hawks are warming to togetherness, indicating, more accurately than that four-legged critter from Punxsutawney, that the weather also is soon to warm. Of course, most Red-tailed hawks do not have television cameras staring at them to record whether they see their shadow while swooping down on an unsuspecting breakfast.

Mice in the kitchen

Mice in the kitchen

The mouse traps were empty when I slid out of bed to check. I’m glad. I know about disease vectors and the bother of the little critters nibbling into the sleeves of saltines crackers, leaving a carpet of tiny black pellets on the pantry shelf. But, really, they don’t eat much. I lived for awhile in a cabin in a wood. On a winter evening, we would watched a tiny critter appear on one side of the living room, scurry around…

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Springtime celebrations

Springtime celebrations

The eldest granddaughter graduated from college Saturday, first in her familial generation to be so accomplished. Even the gods were joyful, judging from the graduation eve celebration and fireworks. The rain started Friday evening as the celestial band tuned up, beginning with a soft breeze and a few drops, growing rapidly progressively windier and wetter with each hour. Then suddenly, amid the cloud-to-cloud arcing,  the lights went out, as though one of the young gods, overcome with his own revelry,…

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Flying in formation

Flying in formation

I saw something last weekend I’d never seen off television. Tens of thousands of Snow geese covered a rather large pond near Kleinfeltersville, occasionally lifting off en masse to create a low cloud of white over the water. The birds were enroute their Arctic birthing grounds. At rest, they virtually blanketed large portions of the pond, mostly paddling around in small circles filling the air with a sound like hundreds of playing puppies. Here and there, a pair would actually…

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Spring lives again on the pond

Spring lives again on the pond

It’s spring, and young men’s fancy turns to thoughts of attracting young women’s attention. One may be the best at what he does, but it’s of no consequence if first he doesn’t gain the attention of prospective suitors. Watching the spring show at the lake is all about the boys striving for attention. I was reminded last weekend of a certain young man of my brood who exhibited much the same activity when spring called boys and girls to doff…

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What’s the weather forecast?

What’s the weather forecast?

It’s downright balmy out as I consider these thoughts. The thermometer claims about 45 F, and there’s a breeze blowing across what is left of a 30-inch blizzard that blanketed us just over a week ago. The raised-garden frames, themselves only about 10 inches high, are well exposed. There is weather outside my window, and it’s not bad. My mother used to watch the weather forecast every night. She would announce, “It’s time for the news,” and take her place…

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A cacophony of Spring

A cacophony of Spring

I, and my faithful companion Grady the Golden, wander along our favorite stream, among the vestiges of the Spring Transition. Water gurgles and splashes over stones and boulders into a pool where a pair of Mallards paddle lazily. In a few weeks, they will be leading a brood of youngsters.[pullquote]… an owl hoo-hoo-hoooos. I flatter myself to think he’s laughing at me …[/pullquote] Around another curve, a sextet of Canada geese hurry away. They are shy, sort of, like a…

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The world beyond my window

The world beyond my window

(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 4/18/2014) The world is coming alive with the warmth and light of Spring – this week’s below-freezing day notwithstanding. A little bit ago, there was a bird singing loudly in joy at the edge of my back yard. I couldn’t find him to discover his name or photograph his appearance, but it was enough to hear his robust love song.

Spring: time for passion and birth

Spring: time for passion and birth

(First published in the Gettysburg Times, 4/26/2013) Outside my studio window stands Mary Lou, a dogwood tree now in bloom, given my wife by her fellow nurses when her mom departed the planet. A colorful variety of feathered creatures bath in the stream, then fly up to preen themselves dry in Mary Lou’s outstretched arms. At least one of the shrubs surrounding our house has become, or soon will, a nesting place for a robin family. I think it already…

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