April Showers

rain-drops-on-branch-CWThe days are a mix of temperate sun or grey rain. Afternoons find us sneaking away from work and responsibility, stepping out side to walk the land; stepping gingerly across sodden ground, inspecting plant buds and watching birds go about their work.

The alleghany serviceberry bushes appear, in my opinion, to be in the lead in terms of leaf-ing. Though if you look closely, you can see little leaves ready to emerge across the canvas of our property.

I’m not sure what kind of birds have made nests on the porch columns, but there are at least two pair of the same type of bird who now attend to the nests all day, every day, just outside my office window. The other day they fought off a pair of what I will call “mocking birds”. The nests were raided but I’m not sure there are any eggs in there yet and the resident birds continue to attend to the nests so I’ll hope that all is well.

During my afternoon walk yesterday I was delighted to see that water is being retained rather well out by the pond berm. It’s probably about a foot deep and could likely support small minnows. It will be interesting to see how long the water lasts once the heat of long Summer days arrive. Our hope is that a small pond will form. A pond would be the perfect addition and hopefully encourage amphibians to make our land their home. The emerging water feature is important to for managing water on-sight and filtering it before it exits the property east. If the nearby bat house ever get residents, they’ll be delighted by the source of water and the insects a pond would attract.

As I think about it, our little plot of land is ruled by water. It’s something you become conscious of in so many ways by living here. I’m constantly looking how it moves from sky to land. Watching how it moves across the land like a pulse; sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Rains come and give life to all of the plants, as well as provide us with our sole supply of water. The meadows fill with run off, distributing seeds and nutrients. Water pools in various places providing habitat at critical times of year for snakes, birds, and amphibians. Summer droughts transform the land and help to usher in Fall, with its rainy afternoons. Finally the snow and ice of Winter blanket meadows and life is forced below ground until Spring.

Spring is one of the most remarkable shows nature puts on in my opinion. Think about how nature, driven solely with solar energy generates seemingly infinite biomass, sequestering countless tons of carbon in bright green leaves. The design of it all is an incredible concert crafted over three billion years. I scoff at men who think they are somehow smarter, stronger, or know better than nature. I don’t think we, in our life’s pursuits, ever really appreciate what is going on around us, and how incredible it is.

So maybe the theme should be “cycles”. Both the water and carbon cycles are front and center here in our humble little piece of heaven on earth. The minds and hands of man could only dream of achieving what nature does with such aplomb. But mankind is hell-bent on working against the natural order of things; thinking he knows better. That belief couldn’t be further from the truth.

All you have to do is watch Spring “happen” to know.

I find great happiness in seeing nature reestablish itself around the land we’ve disturbed to make our home. Given the chance I like nothing more than going for a walk to explore and contemplate all the incredible sights.

My advice to you?

Go for a walk.

 

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