SPRINGTIME…the very word evokes vivid images, sounds, and smells, especially for those of us who live in a part of the world where Spring is a distinct season. Spring is also laced with symbols of rebirth and hope after the darkness of winter. Every bulb that pushes its way through clods of dirt into its first breath of air and light is a metaphor for triumph over adversity.
Since about tree weeks ago, signs of spring have been popping out daily here in the Shenandoah Valley — flowering fruit trees, daffodils and maple trees are getting fuller and more colorful. The forsythia has been vibrant this year among the first spots of color in my yard. We'll soon be seeing dogwood and redbud. The birds have been absolutely raucous! My Phoebe has returned to make her nest in the corner of our porch, and the Carolina Wren still amazes me with the amount of sound that comes out of such a small body. Earthworms are in big trouble — I see American Robins everywhere digging in the moist ground. The spring rain today has an entirely different smell from the winter rains — fresher and filled with the promise of things to come.
Don't miss Connection Messenger April Moore's post on Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) at her wonderful Nature website Earth Connection . She did some fascinating fact-finding that will enhance your knowledge and pleasure every time you hear the wonderful chorus of peeping that, to me, is one of the most conspicuous and early signs of spring, especially where I live down by the north fork of the Shenandoah River. I was particularly interested to learn that spring peepers don't spend much time in trees and that they are nocturnal carnivores, primarily devouring insects and arachnoids. Who knew? The “crucifer” in its Latin name comes from the distinctive dark X pattern on its back. Don't miss the link at the bottom of April Moore's blog post to a 30-second video of a close-up view of a spring peeper peeping…amazing!
Connecting with the natural world around you will enhance your pleasure, enjoyment, and gratitude for the wonders of Nature, and it all starts with just paying attention.
What are YOUR favorite signs of spring? Please share in the comments below.
1) “Tulip about to Pop” by “Louchiere” Vickie Mathews (www.flickr.com/photos/louchiere79)
2) Spring peeper showing vocal sac by Joyce Gross (http://www.joycegross.com)
3) Spring peeper showing vocal sac by Paul Tessier (http://www.tessierphotography.com), North Dighton, MA, procured through iStockPhoto.com.
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