It was the last day of winter. It had rained during the night so the ground was wet. But the sun was out and the birds were in the mood to sing.
I started my walk at McDuck Lake where I saw about a dozen Buffleheads basking in the warmth of the morning. Several Mallards were quacking and I could hear at least two Pied-billed Grebes calling in the distance. Newly arrived Violet-green Swallows were flying inches above the water to pick up low-flying insects. As I walked up the path toward the Pipeline I heard several Spotted Towhees singing and calling. Dark-eyed Juncos were singing, too. Lyn calls them telephone birds. A tiny Golden-crowned Kinglet was searching for spiders and insects on the bare maples. Then I saw it. I snag with lots of moss growing on its trunk had fallen across the path. Apparently, the ground had become just too saturated to hold it. I wonder how many years it had stood in that spot. As I approached the Pipeline I walked under a Song Sparrow that was singing his song over and over. He was ready for a mate.
On the Pipeline I ran into a Northern Flicker that was pounding on the gutter attached to Gail’s house. Presently, he flew up to a bare maple and began to call like a baby Pileated Woodpecker. I appreciated the chance to see and hear him at the same time.
Crows were constantly calling. As I made the turn back to my house I heard and saw a Steller’s Jay calling away. It seemed like everybody had something to say. That is, except Bill, our neighborhood Great Blue Heron. He stood at the edge of the pond as still as a statue waiting for a frog to move.
Spring reminds me of new birth and new growth. But the fallen snag scares me a little. It reminds me that one day I will fall, too. I was talking to a lady two doors up the street. She had been taking care of our neighbor who was a friend of her family, but she had to leave for Nevada because her father was ill. “I’m right behind them,” she said. Who will take care of her when she gets old? And the elephant in the room?