Heeeeeeeere's March! It came blustering in all roaring and wild, full of wind, rain, and even snow. Winter has been whipping up howling winds for the past few days, knocking down trees and power lines in his attempt to make a dramatic exit. And now he's settled down into a cold sulk again. He knows his days are numbered. He knows his Winter winds have already blown away, deserting him. For the wind has changed. Spring's winds have already moved in, making preparations for her arrival. Beneath all the bluster, the coming warmth can be felt. I noticed it a few weeks ago in the huge gulps of air I tasted at my opened bedroom window. That moist, almost musky, smell is unmistakable. It smells of damp earth, golden sunshine and new life. I can't keep myself from opening all the windows prematurely (the house has been freezing because of me) and pausing to breathe it all in. I could get high on it.
Birds have returned, swooping madly around the house and yard, frantically seeking nest-building materials or perching high in the trees chattering with each other about how they spent their winter down South. There is a pair of Starlings who return to a corner of our porch each year about this time to try and build a new nest. They appeared 7 or 8 years ago and after two years of putting up with the noise and the disgusting mess they caused, The Viking decided they must be evicted and patched up the hole in the eave they had invaded. They came back the following Spring and forced their way in anyway. Another year of bird poop all over the porch railings and mailbox. That Fall, The Viking removed the siding from under the eave. They came again and merely moved to the rain spout next to the eave. Our poor mailman. Finally, The Viking found a way to seal any crevices suitable for nesting and that did the trick. They moved their nest elsewhere, but not before spending several weeks fluttering around the old nesting site, trying desperately to find a way in. They've done that the last 4 years, fluttering around the rain spout for at least two weeks before moving on to another place. They're at it again; I catch glimpses of black wings streaking across the dining room windows out of the corner of my eye while I'm sitting at the computer. Determined little bird-brains. I wonder if they'll ever stop trying to gain access to their old home?
The House Wrens are a different story. I hope they find their way back to the teapot basket high on the shelf on the porch. They weren't messy at all and provided us with hours of entertainment last summer. Yes, we discriminate here at our Wit's End: Starlings--no, but House Wrens--sure!
Trees and shrubs are budding and flowers are cropping up. There's a house we pass every day on the way to and from school that always has droves of daffodils flanking its picket fence in early Spring. They've just started sprouting up. I love daffodils. They look like sleepy little girls in sunbonnets to me. We used to have them in the yard before we had to dig up the flower bed to solve our leaky-basement problem. It was sad, but even daffodils are small consolation when everything in the basement is moldy.
Since I no longer have daffodils to call my own (I know, I know, what's stopping me from going out and buying a bushel of bulbs?) I pick them up at the store to put in jugs on the table. One of our first Valentine's Days together The Viking presented me with an enormous armful of daffodils and Japanese irises that looked like they'd come fresh from the field. Of all the flowers he's ever given me, those were my favorite and he usually brings home a bouquet of them some time in the Spring. But last week, I was literally stopped in my tracks at the grocery store by the scent of a tub of daffodils in the florist section. I decided I couldn't wait for The Viking's bouquet and bought a bunch and mingled them with some filler flowers the names of which I've forgotten.
I loved catching a whiff of their scent when I walked past the table. I only wish they lasted longer, I love them so much!
But of all the delights of Spring, the one I love best is the song of the tree frogs in the woods around the house. They peep in the trees day in and day out, stopping only when something disturbs them like a stiff breeze, a closely passing car, a cautious deer. We throw our windows open before crawling into bed and sigh deeply as we're lulled to sleep by the tree frogs' lullaby. That sound is one of my favorite things in the world. It makes me feel peaceful, meditative, serene.
Of course, the sight of them does not have the same effect! But as they are content to stay across the road in the trees along the stream, I am content to lie in my bed at night at a safe distance and pretend I don't know what they look like.
Ah, Spring. I'm ready for you now. Even if I do have to pack away all our flannel bedclothes.