When spring comes I always feel like it’s the most beautiful time of year. Things turn green overnight, and that’s usually what I notice the most. This year though, since things are calmed down and there is no where to be besides sitting on my front porch or looking out my back window, I’ve noticed a lot more.
Our neighbor has two foals. They are splendid to watch. Mostly they stay at their mothers’ sides or take naps in the cool spring grass. But when they get a wild hair and start running as fast as they can on their new and gangly legs, that’s when they are the most fun to watch.
One of them stumbled the other day. It got right back up. Had it arms, I know it would have dusted itself off. It took off running again. Little horses, like little children at play. That’s a nice thing about spring.
A killdeer laid her eggs in my garden a month or so ago. I hated to bother her, she got in such an uproar when we went near her at first. I let that end of the garden go. The grass got very tall, and I felt it protected her sad little nest that consisted of nearly nothing, save a dried up leaf that was probably already there when she laid her eggs.
Male and female killdeer both incubate the eggs.
As time passed one of them got used to us and barely bothered getting off the nest when we came around. The other always got its feathers in a puff and made an awful squawking racket.
Then one day they were gone. Nothing left but a half hatched egg, an unhatched egg and some flies swarming around them. I wondered what happened after the eggs hatched, and I read that killdeer are like chickens, born with feathers, and take off as soon as they are hatched.
I miss the little birds, and was hoping to see the chicks. There are many other nests around in the yard and on the back porch. Baby birds, that’s another nice thing about spring.
Adult birds put on quite a show too, for those who are interested in such a thing. I have had a little red bird hanging around the backdoor for a while. I know its the same one, because I read they are territorial, and also it’s just one of those things that you know anyway.
His wife isn’t nearly as friendly, but she enjoys the bird feed just as much as he does. Every once in a while another little red bird couple comes along and I like to imagine how the conversation goes when my red birds tell their visitors to leave. I have a lot of other little birds, but I’m not very good at knowing what type they are. I get sparrows and wrens confused and so I just watch them and try not to worry too much about what they are. I get very excited about seeing things like goldfinches and red headed woodpeckers.
Yesterday I saw a bald eagle. It landed far away in my neighbors field and I enjoyed watching it for a while. But I guess I tend to favor the little birds who are regulars at my back doorstep. Birds to keep me company, that’s a nice thing about spring.
I’m learning that squirrels are quite the gluttonous little creatures. I have two squirrels who live in my backyard. I’ve been leaving bird feed in some feeders for my little birds, but those squirrels are as savvy as they come and have robbed them every one dry. The birds don’t mind, because the squirrels shake a lot of the feed onto the ground, and the birds seem happy to eat from anywhere.
When the feeders were full, two other squirrels came around. I think they might live in the front yard. At first there was a little bickering, but then it seemed like they decided there was enough to go around. Now all the food is gone and only the two squirrels remain.
One of them was on the back step eating the wood off my house this morning. He was unbothered when I told him to stop and only ran away when the boy came through making a lot of noise. Squirrels. They are a nice thing about spring.
Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at email@example.com.