Happy Reading

riskmona's  album on Photobucket


Heavy wet snow fell last night and the trees are laden, my crocus buried. But late Saturday afternoon after the rain showers ended, the day turned mild and I pulled some overwintering weeds from one of my flower borders. A whole wheelbarrow full. While happily bent to my labors, I heard the sweet trill of a meadowlark, my favorite songbird. Silent today. But when the sun shines and the weather softens again, I will hear it sing. This crazy weather is typical of March in the Shenandoah Valley. A cold snap follows on the heels of a wonderfully balmy day or two.  This March has been on the colder side and quite wet, which is just as well with our tendency toward summer droughts, so we'll take the moisture while we can. 


Ducks and geese love all the puddles that come with the rain, and our pond is finally full again after dwindling to a sad state in past summers. Happy quacks resound against the fussy geese fighting over nesting sites. These battles, and the meadowlark singing, are among the first signs of spring. And the pussy willow blooming. I picked a lovely bouquet of pussy willow on Saturday too.

Back to the meadowlark, my goal is to ever actually see one of these elusive birds again. Theoretically  this shouldn't be such a challenge what with our meadows and all.  Once or twice, I’ve glimpsed a yellow flash  and spotted the bird perched on a fence post before it flew.  Mostly, they hide in the grass and skim away to another spot before I get a good look, calling all the while from various positions in the meadow. 
One spring daughter Elise and I were determined to track down the evasive songster and tenaciously followed its calls, even climbed over the fence into the neighbor’s pasture and picked our way along the little creek, but never caught up with that bird, or birds.  There may have been more than one.  So unless I catch another rare glimpse, I must content myself with their beautiful trills.  Birds like this need tall grasses and untidy hedge rows for nesting.  Bear that in mind in your own yard and garden.  Keeping everything trim and cultivated robs our feathered friends of habitat.  It’s also a good excuse for a less than perfectly kept landscape.    A little wilderness here and there is a good thing.

Images of early crocus before the snow and Elise and me on a walk about the farm, two years ago. A cow is saying hello. They follow us like pet dogs.

We have the Eastern Meadowlark.  For more on that variety click here.
For more on the Western Meadowlark~
*Royalty free Image of meadowlark–until we can finally photograph one.




4 comments

  1. Patrice Wilton // March 19, 2013 at 2:26 PM  

    Sounds beautiful, Beth.

  2. Mary Marvella // March 19, 2013 at 3:16 PM  

    Beth, this is lovely! Your posts always are! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beth Trissel // March 19, 2013 at 9:50 PM  

    Thanks so much, guys. Now, we have a fierce March wind a blowing.

  4. Mary Ricksen // March 22, 2013 at 4:19 PM  

    Love it! Miss the Smokies.