DSCN3172Red-tailed Hawk in flight

As Guineas stand against the fence
in the outdoor pen
that connects them to free-ranging
and keeps them protected in the safety of the barn
until we open the gate
that frees Guineas and chickens from their winter
confinement,
it takes everything we’ve got
to keep it closed.
They call out all day
on spring-like days.
Frequently, we talk about whether it’s safe yet.
And then,
we gasp
as a Red-tailed Hawk flies over us
with a bloody rabbit in its clutches.
Ok. Not yet.
We can’t set a date to let the chickens out
and we don’t know what will have to happen
before we can.
So we watch,
see how close the hawks come to the barn.
(One was at the edge of the alpaca pen
a few days ago.)
We hope that soon,
the hawks will find more food
and be less attentive
to what’s in the barn.
Then we can let the flock
out.

Though today is the spring Equinox,
the official “first day of Spring,”
springing has been advancing,
quietly,
in between polar blasts.
Green sprouts appear
among leaves that somehow
haven’t blown away.
After half-an-inch of rain last week,
the wheat fields are greening brightly.
We have seen several male Pheasants
on several country roads.
I’ve watched two male Cardinals
harassing each other
for days,
as if they are in some sort of contest.

I am in the city on this first
day of Spring.
It is sunny,
slightly cool
in the slight southern breeze.
The traffic from the highway
is aroar
as I sit in the sun
on the back stoop,
facing Deep Fork Creek,
for breakfast.
At first all I can hear is the roar,
but as I enjoy the sun’s warmth,
I hear another sound:
an incessant, loud “CHEER, CHEER, CHEER.”
It is a male Cardinal
in a tall tree next door,
just there, up from the creek.
I am thrilled:
I can hear birdsong
even amidst traffic’s roar!
Faintly,
I hear the call echoed
and soon a female Cardinal
lights in the same tree,
a few branches below.
Then a smallish Dove
flies to the tree
and, on a power line nearby,
facing the sun,
something with an orange breast.
Might be a Robin.DSCN3267

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After breakfast,
on the neighborhood-side of the house,
I see a flash in a tree in the front yard,
and hear a familiar sound.
I look out,
up,
and there is Mockingbird,
standing on a power line,
brightly singing all those songs
as if to broadcast spring
for everyone
to everyone.

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