Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring is Springing Forth

I've noticed several encouraging things around my house lately - little hints that Spring is indeed coming. Hooray!!

I've been working for the last few years on naturalizing our front yard with early Spring flowers. As I went out to get the paper I noticed several places where clusters of bulbs are coming through. YEAH! There was also the distinct sound of birds singing - not many, but a few. The grass is looking a little greener and I can hear the bats again at night.

I know bats would be a bad thing to some people but they eat mosquitoes-lots of them. When we first bought the woods where we built there were so many bats that you could sometimes hear them when you were inside the house. A few years later we didn't hear them at all. I don't know where they went, or why, but we had tons of mosquitoes those years to the point where you couldn't enjoy being outside in the evening around the fire pit or on the front porch to watch the sunset. I hated that. Last year, though, they started coming back significantly lessening the mosquitoes near the house. Plus, they seem to stay in the woods. We have a couple big lights that might attract them but in the eight years we've lived there I've only actually seen a bat once.

There is also an owl that has been there the whole time (I'm assuming it is the same owl.) We've had a few sightings of it. Once early on when it was sitting in one of the pine trees. It looked about 12" tall and maybe 5" wide. Then there was the summer when it seemed to have gotten its days and nights mixed up - or hit its head on something and thought it was a rooster. Every morning at 5:30 a.m. we'd hear it whoing (or hooting). Last summer it dive bombed me one evening as I was driving home while chasing its prey over the road and into the corn field across the street. The last time we saw it sitting it was about 18" tall and 12" wide.

Then there are Frick and Frack and the Snake. The Snake (Corn snake variety) hangs out in the herb garden mostly and is okay with me because since he moved in we've had very little problem with mice in the garage. He doesn't bother me as long as I know he's there and I can avoid being close to him, like when I occasionally go out early in the morning to have breakfast on the deck and he's already using the deck for sunbathing. He does startle me every now and then late in the Summer when he can hide under the plants and I don't know he's there till I go to pick something and he goes slithering off. At that point, he is definitely my least favorite resident. Frick and Frack are the lizards that, best we can tell, are dwarf plated lizards and should not really live in Indiana( more like Africa). We don't know if we have misidentified them or if they were pets someone dropped off somewhere are our flower beds were the closest thing resembling the rocky area where they normally live. They look just like the picture below, blue tail and all, and are very affectionate with each other apparently since they have grown to a large family of we aren't sure how many. They also seem to be finding plenty to eat as we have watched the two older ones grow from about 3" long to about 12".

I'm getting anxious now to get my garden planted and be back to the time of year for barbecues and fires and toasted marshmallows. I'm ready for the bright colors of the flowers and seeing what pops up unexpectedly somewhere. I'm ready for the newness of Spring.

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