March 23, 2012

Happy Thoughts for Spring


I fell in love -
Taken by the innocence of
Child-face daffodils:

Their perky April fanfares -
Clarion calls from yellow-ochre brass bands
Presaging, rejoicing, calling us:

'Here we are! Here we are!'

Mark R. Slaughter

Technically, the 'daffodils' in the photo are the baby narcissus presently blooming in our front garden (and it is still only March), but they are close enough to the taller, bolder version that is popping out in all its bright yellow glory in the south facing gardens around town. I am always surprised by the early presence of daffodils. I think they must be the bravest of flowers considering they are often pummelled by rain, or what we commonly have here in March: 'snain', hail, wind, and other assorted confused symptoms of a season somewhere in between winter and spring, and don't seem to mind at all. For me, daffodils, crocus, and snowdrops symbolize the hope I begin to feel after enduring a long, dreary, wet West Coast winter. Some snow may still fall and chilly winds may still blow, but if the daffodil can persist then so can I.

My plan for today was to walk around the neighbourhood in the oh-so-very-welcome sunshine with my youngest daughter, snapping photos of the evidence of spring. I took about five photos before my camera's battery died. Besides a few scenes similar to the one above, I managed to capture a little junco, one of my favourite birds, in the silver maple in our front yard:

 Spring in the Bronx

Spring has sprung, the grass is ris.
I wonders where the birdies is.
They say the bird in on the wing.
Ain't that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird.


I have noticed lately that few birds are feeding at our birdfeeder, which hangs from this same silver maple, so I took a closer look. The moisture of late winter has turned the birdseed into porridge, which has begun to bloom with mold. Yuck. I wouldn't want to eat that if I were a bird, so I will be taking the feeder down, emptying it of it's mush and giving it a good spring cleaning before re-filling it to the brim with fresh seed. One of the joys of spring and summer mornings is to see what visitors we have at the feeder, and look up any new ones in the Peterson's Field Guide to Western Birds which sits, ever ready, on the small side table by the living room picture window. My husband doesn't actually agree with the idea of bird feeders. He believes we should let nature take its course and not encourage wildlife to rely on humans for food. Part of me agrees with him, but it is such a pleasure to invite birds into the yard, I cannot seem to give up the idea. So, we agree to disagree, and he continues to help me hang the feeder up and take it down for cleaning. We humans continue to take so much of the birds' habitat away, we should at least give them some food to make up for it - at least that is my rationale concerning birdlife. I do not feel this way about other forms of wildlife such as raccoons, coyotes, or the squirrels that steal our best walnuts, so I admit to being inconsistent on that score.

Another sign of spring is the fact that my son has been called in to work this weekend at the ice cream/coffee shop in the nearby resort village. It is Spring Break in our school district, so with the good weather, families are pouring into the village for a day or two by the lake. We may see temperatures this weekend of 15 degrees Celsius - most likely at 1:00 pm and for about five minutes - but that will be enough to bring people out of their houses in search of something resembling a summer day.

One thing I love to do in spring is go for a drive with music blaring on our quite good car stereo. A particular song which came to mind the other day when I found out I have a couple of cavities that need filling. I was quite disgusted because I really do look after my teeth and asked the dentist what I should do to prevent further decay. She advised me to wean myself off sugar in my coffee and tea, as she was pretty certain that was doing it. On our way home I started to sing this song to my daughter, and I think I'll search out the recording for our next car trip. It really is two songs in one, and the second sort of fits with the spring theme, so...enjoy. And Happy Spring!


  1. I like your ending! I haven't heard that song in awhile. I hope the sacrificing of sugar in your tea and coffee will help... or will you ignore that advice and brush your teeth 5 times a day. Hmmm... Which is worse?

    You've welcomed in spring very nicely. I love flowers and seeing the birds eat from feeders, too. Happy Spring to you, too!

    1. No sugar in my tea is no problem I find. Coffee on the other hand - well, that's going to be a lot tougher!

  2. I would have been with your man on that 'til a few years ago. You see his argument would work if there was a few miles between each of us so there wasn't a spike in summer food like happens in a town causing the birds to have multiple broods.

    Tete a Tete ?.

    1. Qu'est-ce que c'est? Pourquoi une 'tete a tete'?

    2. That's the name of the little Daff ?.

    3. Okay! And...I have no idea what the daff is called, unfortunately. I bought the bulbs in a package at the supermarket a couple of years ago and stuck 'em in the ground.

  3. Replies
    1. yikes on the cavities...not a lot of might want to hold off on that sugar...smiles...and happy spring for is popping all over the place here...

  4. Nice photos, spring is on it's way! Love the Bronx poem.

    I like having bird feeders in the yard. Too often, though, our bird feeders have become neighborhood cat feeders, and that doesn't seem right!

  5. Oh dear, yes that is true. We hang ours from a tree, and there is no way a cat could reach it. However, the seeds fall on the grass and the birds are a bit more vulnerable when they eat off the ground.


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!