Tuesday, March 05, 2013
The sounds of the seasons are again shifting, leaving the silence of the fog blankets for the slightly louder orchestra of birds, some just born, some busy remodeling nests from last year's windfall.
I never tire of spring, and as I age spring always reminds me of my younger springs. Autumn is the same way for me - perhaps Summer and Winter slightly dull our senses into sleep, and both Spring and Fall awaken them, along with the nerves of the soul.
Growing up in the Midwest, I'd wait months for Spring, so when it came it was so invigorating one could go crazy in lust on the first real warm day. But the sounds were different back there, with the trickling of ice heard melting underneath footsteps while the top layer crunched with each step.
One of the things I loved about my first visit to Oregon - which was in March of 2001 - was that the ground was soft and I could feel the Earth under my feet. I'd left a frozen tundra and it felt decadent to think of a land where it never froze hard. But Spring here, especially on the farm, is full of wonder, birth and renewal. I saw the first baby snakes int he wood pile - many will be eaten by the cats, but many will make it too. The owl droppings begin to appear below the old hayloft, encasing the remnants of vermin perfectly preserved - Life and death entwined everywhere.
One sees birds in the fields, picking at the left over seeds that fall out of the sheep's back hair [our sheep are the Katahdin breed, a smaller hair sheep so there is no sheering of wool, but they do shed each spring]. While one eats the grass, the other eats the worm. The sheep fertilize all our fields naturally and the birds benefit, as do we.
We are hearing the first frogs - so loud around dusk it is like a rock concert to the fields.