by Carol Glover
Why is it that when you've made up your mind to do something, it doesn't seem to work out? We decided to look at other housing options. We're tired of mowing grass, cleaning the gutters, patching the beach shed. We're surrounded by chores.
Wouldn't it be great to wake up in beautiful surroundings and leave the maintenance to someone else? Or at least to minimize it.
So what happens? Spring moves in with a vengeance. The cherry tree burst forth with pink blossoms so thick it looked like a cone of cotton candy. Following its appearance, the dogwoods and Yoshino cherries held a contest for biggest blossoms.
The osprey have moved in as usual, occupying each empty platform up and down the beach. Nothing unusual about that - except how close they've been flying to us. They circle, catch the currents and swoop down skimming the ground. Never have I seen, up close, so many broken branches and fish being transported by skilled claws.
Wild turkeys, females and young, have been at home in the farm field at the top of the road forever. I've often stopped the car and watched as they pecked and strutted their way through the plowed fields. But for the first time this year, the male has shown himself. Not just a quick one-time glimpse either. Twice so far. The first time, as he walked calmly through the field, we slowed the car. He turned, then spread his tail feathers in a display of prideful color. Breathtaking. The second time he quickly took off for the woods. One of his shy days. Now I look for him all the time.
I planted American honeysuckle two years ago. Just sticks. That's what they've been. No amount of water, fertilizer or cutting back has inspired growth. I got used to seeing brown sticks, maybe a green leaf here and there. Not this year. Beautiful red flowers and healthy green leaves cover one side of the deck.
Threatening almost. The beginnings of takeover. But so lovely reaching up to the sun.
Then a male hummingbird buzzed through the honeysuckle. A friend told me he was a scout, sent out to find a good location. I don't know if it's true, but the feeder has been filled and sits out near the honeysuckle. We've always had hummingbirds zipping around, but I don't recall them being here this early. Maybe I never noticed the scouts before.
Call nature's display the results of El Niño or a mild winter or just one of those years. Since everyone else around Washington, D.C., talks conspiracy theory, I say it's a conspiracy. One calculated to make us change plans. One calculated to make us appreciate where we are. What's a little grass cutting, a little fix-it-up?
Spring's a conspiracy all right.
Contributor Carol Glover reflects on the shores of the Patuxent River.
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Volume VI Number 20
May 21-27, 1998
New Bay Times
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