Date: 3/11/18 7:15 am From: DOUGLAS E CHICKERING <dovekie...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] A Whiff of Spring
This winter hangs on with a familiar persistence. We in New England have seen this show before. Last week I spent trapped in the house with the electricity gone as the fury of a Nor’easter wreaked its vengeance upon us. The weather forecasters are predicting another storm this coming week, with the maddening good nature that is their way. It is March. The clocks have been pushed ahead, the vernal equinox is on the horizon. There are an increasing number of Icterids at our feeders. Spring is almost within touching distance. Yet it is March and March is a winter month. This can be discouraging. However, the natural world plays no favorites and is a place on relenting unstoppable change. This morning an unmistakable sigh of spring arrived at the base of my feeder pole; scratching away at the detritus. A courier of the better days to come. Like every March there was our Fox Sparrow. As I expect a return visit in November.
When Lois first built her house, she had a red bud tree planted in her back yard. Red bud trees blossom into a spectacular reddish pink every April and added to the color of the dogwoods and choke cherry trees in her yard. Red bud trees are a southern variety and from the beginning Lois never expected this tree to survive many brutal Massachusetts winters. But it did. Although it slowly wore away there was still a large part of it alive entering this winter. It lasted thirty years. With this last devastating storm, it finally was toppled as if with the loss of Lois, it was finally time for it to go as well. Therefore, the sight of the Fox Sparrow is accompanied by a tug of sadness. She would have been delighted to see it. Therefore, so am I.