What Do Chickadees Know?

Our long-awaited spring is officially here with the equinox marking the occasion. However, spring didn’t just appear on March 20th. It’s been sending us many little telltale signs as it inches its way through winter. The length of the day changes rapidly during both spring and fall equinox, reminding me just how quickly the seasons change. There are countless transformations that take place as winter turns into spring. I feel rather fortunate to find the time to stop and daydream about those everyday miracles.

I’ve watched as winter marches strong and straight. And noticed as it seems to slowly lose its brisk pace. At first it’s a small sidestep and then another. Soon, winter’s march takes on a lighter step as it begins to dance with a young innocent spring. The dance begins with a short twist and turn before returning to its angry tempo. Then a sweet little ballet softens the hike. But not long enough. It’s a rumba that wins the dance competition and stops the advance of winter.

Winter lost its sting when a warm misled breeze blew its way into my yard. Glistening cool water trickled through snowbanks and down our driveway as ice crystals melted.  After months of breathing frozen sterile air, it was the smell of wet gravel and moist woodsy soil that made me want to shed my coat and boots. I imagine I’m an inchworm riding over a raging waterfall on a curled up dry leaf as I sail on melting snow.

And then, looking up I see white flags. The last of winter has surrendered. Cirrus cloud horsetails line up across the sky. My heart begins to race. Excitement builds and suddenly I’m in a horse race. I secretly cheer as the gates open. The announcer in my head yells, “And they’re off! Fluffy is in the lead, Puff is close behind . . .” And a children’s story begins for me. Will it ever be written? I don’t know. But it is always fun for me to imagine stories I can share with you.

Sometimes when I’m lying awake in bed, I look out my window. The sky is full of stars. Without the snow to reflect the moonlight it’s much darker out tonight. Another story plot entertains me.

I must admit, the thing that excites me most each spring is hearing a chickadee change from his winter song to that cheery “Spring’s coming” song. The blades of green grass to come benefited from the snowy blanket of protection that is slowly lifted by spring. My garden is now decorated with tiny green Iris shoots. Then a robin bows her head to the flower to be before flying off to a nearby tree. A closer look reveals an expectant branch waiting to give birth to new leaves and flowers. Soon that branch will become home to the bees, orioles, and hummingbirds.

I look forward to more fun little daydreams as I watch spring turn into summer. Honestly, I’m not trying to rush the season by prematurely bringing out the flyswatter. My mother’s reminder not to wish my life away, stays with me. But I see that the warm sun on my windowsills has awakened a pesky house fly.

What signs of spring have you seen? Please share your stories with me. Comments are often enjoyable and fun to read. Feel free to share this blog. http://www.leannembenson.com

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