Thursday, March 31, 2011

smell the birds

lille and lizzi sprint out the door and circle the backyard, their labrador noses hard at work snuffling the ground, in places a heavenly snow-free, brown, muddy dirt, zigging and zagging across the open spaces and then along the perimeter where lawn meets woods. they stop and lift up their heads, noses twitching, and look wistfully at the place in the air where tantalizing wings flash by.

everywhere birds! the dogs smell feathers at long last, the scent sweet and nostalgic to their winterized noses which have lain dormant far too long in sleepy central-heated air. they are also alert to every new spring sound; their floppy ears lift up and settle back on their heads to acknowledge even the faintest forest noises, like gentlemen from a bygone era lifting their hats to a lady, as they listen to scolding bossy red squirrels, screeching jays, chirping chickadees, and small rustlings of the wind.

the birds who flew south for the winter will be returning soon, and the birds who have been here all along are more vocal, more visible. robins, winter wrens, finches, pine siskins, juncos, crows, blue jays, chickadees, flycatchers, phoebes, mourning doves, nuthatches, titmouse, cardinals, grosbeaks, woodpeckers, flickers, wild turkeys (did i leave anyone out?), all in search of food, all in search of a mate, all chirping, chirping, chirping, their brains zeroing in on the rituals and urges of springtime, surprisingly like humans.

tomorrow is the beginning of april, and it is the beginning of much ecstatic activity in the woods and in the air, here in our little maine part of the world....

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