Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Spring Green and Other Delights

A quail is whistling, “Bob White,“ as I walk to the mail box. The killdeer are screaming fiercely for my attention as they fly up and away from the gravel in our lane. They really don’t need to fuss and try to fool me like that. I will not likely find their eggs in the gravel at the edge of the roadbed even though I will look for the nest. I did see one nest last year. The eggs were in plain view, but still were almost invisible lying there camouflaged with the gravel around them.

Everything is lush and so brightly green that it is almost overwhelming after winter’s duller colors. The lavender iris that Scott and Sonje gave us from a family farm up north are blooming profusely, and I saw one yellow bud on the day lilies beside the house. Gerald’s garden is up and growing.

We found out that the “bachelor goose” that was honking so incessantly was indeed guarding a nest and not a bachelor after all. Gerald and I were riding the “mule” around the lake and saw a head sticking up in one of the floating nests he had made a couple of summers ago. He had earlier seen a duck nest there that evidently the predators had reached. Yesterday he pedaled out in the pedal boat and saw the nesting goose there on her eggs.

We have had two nests of ducklings hatched. The first mama had eight babies, and so far she has kept them alive, which is very different than our previous experience. Gerald thinks maturity has somehow taught this second-time mom ways to be more wary. We haven’t seen the second set of baby ducks since the mother took them to water. There is yet another nest outside out bedroom window and one in the front lawn under an azalea bush.

The martins are peering out from the openings in their house, and we assume there are little ones inside. The hummingbirds are back from Mexico. The red-bellied woodpecker still comes to the deck for a treat of suet that Gerald has stuffed in holes he made in a beaver-log turned bird feeder.

Gerald went to the island and had to knock five ticks off his clothing when he left there. I have been wanting to go over, but that slowed my desire. He has mowed a wide swath all around the lake for walking, and so far I’ve not had any unwelcome visitors. Ticks are definitely not one of spring’s delights.

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