But the real treat of the spring are the birds. Content all winter with a variety (3) of woodpeckers and flickers, cardinals, chickadees, red and gold finches, sparrows and nuthatches, we are exploding in returning avian splendor. Of course the Eagles, hawks, and turkeys and buzzards stick around but they DON’T feed at the feeder.
The return of the Redwing blackbirds is first of course. They line up on fences along the roadway everywhere. The robins are next. Neither of these come to feed at our house.
The finches are returning to their more vibrant colors. A large number of blue jays who have also wintered here, finally decide to eat at the feeder, grasping the sunflower seeds between their feet and with precision beating the shells until they break.
Suddenly all on one day, an explosion of old friends return. Our beloved Orioles return and we race out to place oranges out for them. We forgot their new favorite, frozen and defrosted apples! We will be getting them some next week. The blue indigos stop by as well, and the grosbeak eat sloppily, giving the chickadees plenty of pieces to devour. The turtle-doves coo from every location, and are busy making love in full view of all. They stop by the feeder and grouse around as well.
Meanwhile the wrens are moving into the mailboxes hung in the trees.
As always happens a few times a year, a bird manages to find his/her way in through the back door which has the lower pane raised six inches for the cats to run in and out. It’s finally warm enough to leave the door open a crack and we can reduce our door duties accordingly.
The poor thing–a sparrow–is utterly disoriented. We race to open all the doors to the house. The cats are dancing around like it’s Christmas, and we are running for towels to throw over our mis-directed friend and help him back out.
Eventually he flies to the kitchen again, and spots the way he got in and escapes.
The deer have been busy around us too. A couple of yearlings wander to within about twenty feet of the house, munching on this and that. The dogs are too old to care any more. We watch in joy for a bit, and then I go to the door, and they are flagging away before you can say hello.
To stand outside is the be assaulted with the sounds of more birds, many who never attend our feast. Crows and starlings, and who knows what else. The cacophony is sometimes actually noisy, most times it is merely sweet. I whistle and mimic a bit, and receive a response or two.
All is that bittersweet time now. We realize that new sounds and sights will await us in New Mexico. We hope to build another feeder, we wonder what birds we might enjoy as our new friends.
The sun shines fitfully, ducking behind and around and through an ever-changing bank of clouds. The creek murmurs as it runs high and fast this time of year. The cats roam and hunt, sitting and watching, sneaking. They sleep hard during the day now, for they are up and out most of the night.
It’s a busy time.
It is the meadow.
It is a bittersweet time.