Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Spring has sprung

To some of you, this is not news but yesterday marked one of the "firsts" of the season.

When I got home last night I was trying to figure out what to have for dinner. I opened the freezer and was greeted with the sight of two packages of bratwurst. I thought for about half a second, grabbed the top package, put it in the microwave on defrost and headed for the deck. I pulled the now rather shabby cover off the grill and brought the grill in for a cleaning... Bratwurst tastes best grilled. In a pinch a George Foreman grill will do the trick but we haven't discovered which box contains ours yet.

It was BE-YU-TI-FULL outside. The wind was blowing, the grill was heating up, and a couple of geese were floating gently on the far pond.

I think the geese are nesting again. Last year we had a pair waddling about with six gosslings. Unfortunately, I think a couple of owls did most of them in. At one point they were down to one then I didn't see them again. I'm not sure if any of them made it. I hope we get some more this year. They were just so darn cute.

The barn swallows are also back. Last year, just after we got settled in the house, we had a couple build a nest just outside our front door. We had started off using the garage to go in and out. By the time we switched to the front door, it was too late. She laid her eggs before I could get the nest down. They're flitting in and out of the breezeway again. I keep checking for signs of a nest but none yet. I'm going to discourage it early. It's not that I mind the barn swallows but they get quite protective. We could only stand in the front yard for about 5 minutes before they were swarming all around us. Mama would start chirping, dad would show up, then they would come out of NOWHERE! A couple minutes later, mama would get brave and start dive bombing us.

I got a rare treat on Sunday. I saw three birds perched on the fence. For some reason, my brain told me they were kingfishers. What the hell was I thinking? I don't think kingfishers are even native to Oklahoma. Turns out, they were three scissor-tailed flycatchers, our state bird. I didn't immediately identify them as scissor-tails (they're hard to mistake) because I was looking at them straight-on. They have this really cool kinda smile.

So, that's been my nature weekend and week so far. Of course, it's time to mow the lawn again, too (I've already done it twice).

[For those of you who are new, my house backs up to a man-made wetland (my house is off the right of the picture). I see canadian geese, blue heron, killdeer, cattle egret, great egrets, scissor-tailed flycatchers, mallards, red-winged blackbirds, and an occaisonal glossy ibis. And I can see all that out my back window.]

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