Sunday, March 11, 2012

redwing blackbirds

The redwing blackbirds are here!!  Let others ooh and aah over their snowdrops, let southerners tell me about their daffodils.  There is nothing to make our hearts soar more than the blackbirds' return to the marsh.  For a few days now the sky has been full of returning ducks but our landscape is still brown and beige with bits of ice clinging to northern slopes.  The ground here at Blue Skye is still hard as a rock and while our neighbours might have green bits sprouting up here and there, our first real sign of spring is the flash of red epaulets across the wetland and then the royal arrival, swooping in to the feeder just off the deck, scattering chickadees, sparrows, bluejays and other winter residents,  to take their rightful place as returning, reigning royalty.  Their whistle alone reassures us that we have survived another Maine winter and that softer times are just around the corner.  Peter arrived in the middle of breakfast service to tell me the news and to announce that he was going to 'fire up the tractor' and begin to collect debris around the  many branches brought down by ice, chopped sumac that we didn't have time to stack before the first snow.  I'll pack up my yaktrax and finally retire my heavy boots, held together for the last few months by duct tape.  The chess board which has been on the kitchen table all winter might be put away because one gorgeous blackbird has told us that spring is here and that our confinement is at last over.

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