Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Northerly migration

They're coming back. I have been witness to the northerly migration of the birds that cut out last fall. It is as exciting to me as a trip south was to them in the first chilly temperatures of September. Welcome! We've missed you! The southerly migration is a bit like rush hour in that the skies are full and quite predictable. But now, on the cusp of spring, only the heartiest of the birds are venturing back into the north country, and we have set out a feast for the eyes and bellys. We want them to know that there is food here, even though the tops of the adirondack chairs are just peeking through. I have watched a couple of "V" formations pass by heading north, and I have cheered them on vocally. Lucky for me, I live in the woods! "Welcome, come on down" shouted to the rooftops might cause me some stares if I lived in town, but here in the backwoods, I'm me and myself. We can shout anything we want, and no one will come to get us. I have shouted a few times in the dead of winter, more along the lines of "aaaaggggghhhh". Now that we're closer to spring, the shouts are more the expressive exhultation kind-Thankfully, for any distant neighbors who may wonder what it is they're hearing far off in the distance. We have heard recently that a mountain lion is prowling in the vicinity of our property. This is a little disconcerting, especially when you take a wander out to the mailbox, which happens quite often when I forget to take in the mail. Around dinner time I will look around with a practiced eye, determining what needs to be done before Jerry gets home. I can get a days worth of puttering done in twenty minutes or so, so that the truth of my lounging isn't as prominent when he walks in the door. At least the table will be set, dinner simmering on the stove (you can bring a simmer up pretty quickly if you have to) and the mail set out for perusal. At this time, I may realize that I had forgotten to bring in the mail and the newspaper and head out to the mailbox. Now that daylight savings time makes it light at six PM, it's not such a big issue. But walking the 25 feet to the mailbox at dusk after hearing a mountain lion is around doesn't bring me alot of peace. If I were to choose an escort, I would make it Daphne. She would take on anything that moves. In her mind, she would win. But the reality scares me a little. I hope it is rumor, and Jerry's call to the DEC brought us no new information. Now THAT is a yell that would get someone's attention. In the meantime, I will practice welcoming the birds that fly overhead, and sometimes stop at our little sanctuary by the driveway. Suet, seed and water are available for any northerly headed feathered friends. It's nice to see them back. I have big plans for the pond this year, and hope to expand the sanctuary to that. I'm often asked how we survive the winters here, and why. Spring, Summer and Fall, that's why.

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