My Backyard in Spring

“Well worth waiting for.” That’s what I think each morning when I go out in my backyard in the springtime and see the abundance of wildlife that has hatched or bloomed. While I have been too soft-hearted to snag a tulip (can’t decide which one to kill and bring inside), today, I did break off a small piece of my recovering lilac bush — recovering because last year it was covered in a wild vine that chokes whatever plants it grabs hold of. With the vines removed last summer, the lilacs had a chance to bounce back this May, albeit a little stumped. Now, their perfumey fragrance is permeating my home office.

At the edge of my property, there is a pond fed by a small river. It is dammed at one end. It is the perfect breeding ground for many water fowl, also turtles and beavers.  This morning, I saw a mother duck and four babies, small as bathtub rubber duckies, swimming with her. (I’ll get a photo next time.) Also, a Canadian goose landed (though I can’t say for sure it is from Canada as I have not asked for its papers). We’ve had a number of geese, but this one landed alone on the water and proceeded to honk and honk, more loudly than my dog barks. I am 100 percent sure it was calling for its mate. I hope the other goose finds its way over. (Of course, in these photos that I just ran back outside to take, you can’t actually see any animals, but they were all there at 7 a.m. I swear!)

I also watched a beaver swimming by. They look so much happier this time of year than when they emerge from under the ice and snow through a hole and skitter around on the top of the pond as they do in the winter. There are also blue heron, usually two, though as with the goose, I saw only one recently. If it sees me or my dog, it flaps over to the other side of the pond, looking rather like a mini-pterodactyl. The other cool creatures to watch fly are the mallards. They launch themselves from the bank on the other side, fly for a few hundred yards, quacking noisily, usually in pairs, and then they land, feet first with a massive splash. The other day, two pairs of ducks seemed to be fighting for superiority over the pond, chasing each other in flight and dive bombing whenever one landed. I don’t know which pair triumphed.

Meanwhile, I have a couple domesticated companions with me at all times.

Perry, the Wonder Dog, loves to play ball and for the most part ignores the wilder creatures. (Here is a video of him in slow motion — just because!)

Sabrina on tree.Sabrina, the cat, always comes out, too. We have a fallen tree in the yard that has been there since a large storm a couple months ago, and because she is not the most agile creature, the horizontal tree has been her first experience with “climbing.” She loves this maple; it’s perfect for sitting in the sun or trimming her own claws with fervent scratching.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games out there in the yard. I spend a lot of time decapitating dandelions with Perry’s ball thrower. Best garden tool ever!

 

Now, back to work on this perfect spring day!

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