Bring on Spring!
It seemed just over a week ago the lake was covered in a sheet of ice, how time flies! It was 8 days ago actually. I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. At first small holes started to open, then along the edges free spots slowly began to widen into small pools. In the late morning the otter was catching fish, sliding into the small holes and reappearing on the ice with some nice bass to lunch on. The muskrat that has been living under the floating dock appeared, dragging bits of weeds and sticks back to spot neat the lake edge, a nest in a cavity there perhaps? By late afternoon it was gone…the ice, just like that, the wind was howling and off it was pushed down the lake and it seemed to slowly sink! We have our lake back!! Celebration time!
Across at our neighbours the stream by their bunkie is roaring. Between the rise in temperatures and the warmth of the sun the snow and ice was disappearing before our eyes. The swamps were filling up and overflowing into the small creek that runs along the road and down into the lake, when it is still you could hear it rumbling! Water is magical!
A Hooded Merganser male glided across the still water between the ice and lake side with his perfect reflection. What a stunning bird, my first time seeing one so close. He seemed unperturbed by my presence and continued to explore the open area. The big predators have returned as well. As I sat at the table I glanced behind me out the window at what I thought was a big ass Red-tailed Hawk. I quietly made my way out onto the front deck and realized it was a juvenile Bald Eagle, perhaps three years old. What an amazing beak that creature has!
He/she looked a bit wet, maybe missed a fish and came up to the branch to sit and wait for something else to catch it’s eye. Bald eagles are strong, aggressive birds but like everything that flies they are governed by aerodynamics. The wings of an eagle need to support the eight to 12-pound bird as well as whatever the bird is carrying, and best estimates put the lifting power of an eagle at four or five pounds. But lifting dead weight it very different that coming in at speed, grabbing and going! That is why these Eagles hunt fish, goslings, ducks and other small aquatic birds, a large Canada Goose would just be to much to carry away! They don’t carry away children or dogs, unless you happen to own a very small one, cats, maybe, good thing Groot and Rocket are probably too heavy! Look out Gamora!
Mike caught a large rodent out of the corner of his eye while looking out the kitchen window….”What the…??? Squirrel?” Nope, a large very round looking Groundhog was lumbering about on the rocks outside, the cats were very interested! Our first Groundhog! Yeah! Only the chipmunks and squirrels need to keep a watch out for the sharp fangs and teeth of the felines. We keep them on the leash but they have been known to dart in, grab and run with a furry small creature. Some good Shakespearean insults are hurtled the cats way as they dash for the safety of their rock dens! I think there is a “Cat alert” code they have!
The smell of the ground is intoxicating in the Spring. It is so primal, wet earth, molds, decomposing leaves, it creates an incredible aroma of life coming back from the dead of Winter. The birds are changing as well, the cheerful little Common Redpolls have headed North towards the Artic tundra as of yesterday. In their place the Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived cackling away all day, as well as the Song Sparrows and Juncos. At times I am reminded of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” when their, the grackles and black birds song (can we call it that?) is in full swing and the ground is covered in these feathered hoodlums!
The Juncos and Song Sparrows rummage about on the ground under the feeders, they are very polite. The American Robins were picking what small seeds were left on the Sumac buds, their song is the sound of Spring returning! The Grackles and Red-Winged Blackbirds sound like an out of tune punk rock concert 😉 ha! The American Goldfinches are gradually turning more and more yellow. They stay all year and are a cheerful burst of colour on drab days.
The White and Red breasted Nuthatches go about their day snatching seeds and quickly flying off. I have heard the Pileated Woodpecker but he has been scarce at the suet feeder, as is the Red-Bellied male. Either they are nesting or busy foraging for other foods. The Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers are still in full force! and as I said, the Blackbirds and Grackles make up for all the lost woodpecker noise…ha! All that puffing and calling and showing off to the ladies, who are, I might add, pretty brutal and picky! All that grandstanding, strutting your stuff, and she just turns and flies away…
The nicest thing about Spring arriving is everything that comes back to life. I often feel quite bird-centric, it’s what we have all Winter to watch and marvel at but Spring brings all kinds of other lovely big and small creatures!
They understand social-distancing as well;) Today we are back onto lock down here in our county. Not a bad thing really, things are getting out of hand again, stupid people, lots and lots of stupid people…sigh…I am glad we are surrounded by something other than homo sapiens most days;)
and yes, the geese are back, sigh, more birds. Someone once asked me if I took anything BUT bird photos…sometimes;) I think she was referring to the fact I don’t really photograph that many people:) Not that I don’t like to, kids are especially fun to photograph, they don’t pose, they just are, guess I don’t like posers much;) hahahahaha! That overhead honk of the Canada Goose is a wonderous sound, that amazing V flying formation in the sky. My husband dreads it, I might burst into song! ♫♪♫ Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wing♫♪♫…you know the song, he hates the Sound of Music…poor man;)
I have a great deal of respect for geese, they can bite;) you just have to make sure you are badder ass than they are in close quarters;) In the swamp between us and the road a pair look like they are maybe nesting, they honked at me profusely as I walked by, I apologized and said I would in the future watch from a distance;)
So, I think we are caught up, enough babbling, can’t make it, this too long or some may not read it;) ha…the short attention span theater group;) To those looking at this on your phone, wait until you can actually see the pictures on a monitor! Put your phone away when you are walking in town, and how on earth can you jog with your phone in your hand? and to those worried about getting the vaccine, that Bill Gates maybe implanting something in you, he doesn’t have to, you “are” your phone already…hahahaha;) My pet peeves from the weekly shopping trip to town! I’ll leave you with yesterdays sunrise, even the little red canoe got to go for a spin…Spring is finally…here! Saludos amigos, can’t wait until we can hug again! In the mean time I’m going out to sniff some more of that Spring dirt!