Monday, April 27, 2009

Signs of the Season

After Saturday's steady drizzle, yesterday dawned clear and bright. At 7:40 a.m. the first Hummingbird of the season showed up, hovering where the feeder should have been, where he remembered it was last year. We jumped up from our coffee, and in minutes, it was found, filled, and back up. He (a male Broad-tailed Hummingbird) returned later to check successfully, a sure sign that spring is here.

You may be wondering what he's doing this morning, as we woke to this—another world of white. About 4 inches (10 cm) of wet snow out there.

Here's how Darling Husband started his work day.

The Flicker attacked an icy block of suet; Juncos and Towhees and Finches looked for bird seed scattered on the ground, and the Hummer stayed close to his chosen food source for the morning. Yours truly was not very successful at capturing him in pixels, but I'm posting these photos anyway, just so you know he's okay.

Between sips of sugar-water, he rested near the house on a feed bucket, or out in the branches of the ash tree, seemingly unperturbed by the snow, as long as he was fed and his feathers retained the necessary fluff-factor. Then there were two, politely sharing the only visible food in the area. No squabbles on a day like this, weather a common, if temporary, enemy.

Two hours later, white skies have lifted to reveal landscape features, sun peeks through and helps trees and bushes begin to shed heavy loads of snow, and temps climb to 10 degrees (6C) above the freezing zone. All is on its way to being well, as another of our spring cycles winds to a close.

Despite my basic faith that nature can take care of itself, I worry. Even short-lived tough times can have ill effects for some, if not for the system. But I hear the Flicker calling—and drumming—his reassurance; even he knows tough times don't last.

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