Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Magic in the air

The woodlands are beginning to tell a new story, for this proud year of 2009. Rivulets of water are dashing down the sides of the ravines, bringing news of warm weather to the ponds below. Tell tale signs of deer are showing now along their inner secret trails, used during the deep winter snow, pounding down the fallen leaves into deep tracks of sinking mud. The ponds still carry their blankets of ice, and the winds out of the north still carry a hint of winter not quite ready to give up its realm to the southern wind currents beating at their door. Over head the first sounds of geese coming back to wander about the tall dead grasses to find the perfect place to raise a family. Deep in the ravines come echoes of the calls of long legged emu like birds, the Sand Hill Cranes, which here in the north land signals the first real signs of spring. But the most enticing hint of spring, are the bluebirds, circling my cement bird bath, sitting on the meadow fences, trilling the sounds of mother nature, finally issuing the command of the warm spring spirits. Mother Nature has kissed the finches, turning their dull brown jackets into happy yellow formals touched by a bit of green. Let the celebration begin...the band is warming up for the spring and summer session, awakening the the leaves, and grasses, signaling the earths return to the lighter side.

Here on the homestead the pond has filled to its deepest depth due to the run off of snow, and the geese are happy little bobbles , washing off their winter grime, sailing to the corners of the water, diving to the bottom muddy reservoir, finding little gems of enjoyment. Our young neighbors on the East rim of our acreage brought out their Cat to clear away all the prickly wandering brush that is so prevalent here on the woodland border. We were chipping away at it with chainsaw and elbow grease, the last few years, not ever accomplishing what they managed to clear in just a few short hours. Now the proud 100 year old plus oaks stand tall among the fallen leaves, clear of the barrage of ugly prickly woody stems that harbored many alarms to anyone who dared cross their path. We found age old crab apple trees, that were lost in the shuffle, which we pruned for a new years growth to feed the deer in fall.
One of the joys we found was an old oak tree that may have been struck by the force of a strong lightening bolt, shearing away a major part of its branches, hollowing out the trunk to make a perfect den for any four legged creature in need of shelter. The Oak continues to live, spewing out more branches, defying the laws of nature, while sheltering any homeless creature that may happen along its destiny. With out the help of our young neighbors we may have never been able to peer into the magic of the woods, their thoughtfulness is a treasure that seems to be so scarce these days of pressure and doubt. Now we can take our almost ancient bodies up thru the paths they have carved out over the 80 acres for us and walk up and down the ravines to find more treasures hidden among the fallen giants of the woods, struggling at the top of the steep hills for breath, and sliding down the other side like gleeful children , on the slippery leaves, searching for magic that Mother Nature has left behind.

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