Good Afternoon Dear Fellow Nature Schmoozers,
Have you been enchanted by the various spring messages Nature started to sprinkle over our surroundings? Have you found yourself staring at the budding tree leaves, because their vibrant green is the perfect color to accentuate their fragile beauty? Spring tends to wake up my dormant winter senses, reminding me to snap into the “Take time to take a look now!” mode, because the stages of smells, colors, vegetation growth change so rapidly that a day of ‘I don’t have time’ attitude makes me miss the opening of a flower blossom.
We have quite a few migratory Canada Geese renegades, who decided that the long trip up north is a waste of time and energy since breeding along the river actually produces wished-for results. Now these feathered mutineers are busy working out agreements with potential mates, requiring the male to stand his ground on his decision. This endeavor is easy if the female views their future together favorable and no other males had their eyes on her. Then they just waddle away from the flock and try to find a nesting spot they both can agree on. That choice honks for standing in one spot for some time and gauging if the location will be safe. Should the female be unsure of the mating offer she insists on her prerogative of free will by evading, escaping his requests. Hot male debates break out when other suitors question the male’s mating right for that enticing female. Usually she stands disinterested on the sideline, letting fate decide the outcome.
It’s a slow process for me to let go of familiar nature sounds, sights. Decades of river visuals and tunes are lodged in my blood stream’s memory. I still expect to hear the RED-winged BLACKBIRD song announce spring although for the last few years their tunes have been absent from the river tule and bushes. I am so eager to hear them again that I’ll turn 2 notes of the SONG SPARROW tune into the lost river melody. There used to be sizable flocks of STARLINGS spread out on the river wire lines, commenting on their life with smooth liquid sounds or loud whistle trills. Now I don’t see them anymore and I miss their sounds and quirky, lively movements that make their intricate feather coats sparkling in the sun. Many birders are okay with the STARLINGS’ population decline, because they rank low as an invasive bird species.
It has been unsettling hard to come to terms with the disappearance of my Mama Hum! A week after I told you about this tiny HUMMINGBIRD Mother she didn’t show up for our morning coffee date. At first I thought she was out for her usual quick nectar shopping spree, but when she didn’t return after a few minutes I started to wonder, which turned into worry and then alarm after 30 minutes. In the last week she hadn’t left the nest for more than short intervals. I searched for her throughout the yard and the neighborhood in case she had been injured. Then I got concerned about the unattended eggs and decided to look in the nest in hope of saving them. I was totally surprised to discover no eggs in this lovely nest that hopeful Mama Hum had build so meticulously for 10 days and sat on for 10 additional days. There are many reason for Mama Hum vanishing: nature sent her a false brooding message, neighbor’s cat caught her, something scared her away, her nest was raided… What I do know is that I grieved her disappearance, that I still find myself expecting to see her snuggled in her nest in the mornings and begin our day together. Although I miss Mama Hum dearly I’ll celebrate knowing that our 20 days together are firmly lodged in my blood stream’s memory. I leave you with an Anatole France quote:
“Unless one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”