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The Long-Awaited Return of Spring

It started with a scent wafting in my bedroom window as I was lounging in bed on Saturday—the smell of warm earth, clear air, and awakening woods. I felt compelled to go for a walk in our woods to see what was happening, to appreciate nature and take a break from my busy life.

The first thing I saw was a set of giant deer hoofprints. I know it’s just a matter of weeks before the does and their fawns start making their appearances. But for now, they are hunkering down and making their nests.

Then I saw two giant pileated woodpeckers. They are huge. I finally put their call together with them. For years, I thought there were wild monkeys living in my woods. But I looked it up online, and figured out it was the pileated woodpeckers. It’s not just the sound of knocking with them, but also a loud monkey call that stands out above all else.

As I got closer to our spring-fed pond deep in the woods, I thought there might be a flock of geese flying overhead, but it was just a chorus of mating frogs who sound like ducks. Unfortunately, the exuberant rustling and splashing of my dog Pippa shut them up, and it was suddenly like there was nothing there. But after we sat really still for a while, the frogs came floating up to the top and started quacking again. I was happy to see plenty of eggs from both the frogs and the giant Pennsylvania spotted salamanders we have in our pond (that’s organic living for you!)

In the short time between when I left for my walk and when I turned back toward home, it seemed like the greenbrier turned green, and little tiny leaves sprouted from all the tangled grey twigs. The forest was a mix of bright color and faded gray, with all the limbs and trunks and branches tangled together…kind of like my hair.

Even deep in the woods I could hear my guinea hens squawking. The night before, one of them got chased (first by a hawk and then by the dog) into a corner of our deer fence and we thought she was dead from a broken neck. Lou, my husband, was sent to “clean her up” and he came back in saying she wasn’t dead after all, just stuck.

“You saved Scooter!” I said, referencing that V8 commercial where the teacher resuscitates the rabbit. I got my monthly laugh out of him, and from now on, she will always be known as Scooter—although she ran into the woods from fright and hasn’t been seen yet.

And now, it’s time to plant the peas.

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6 Responses to The Long-Awaited Return of Spring

  1. Laura B. March 22, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Great post! A testimony to the importance & spiritual benefit of spending time in our natural world. I can’t wait to get out & explore the awakening of the Earth too. I hope Scooter finds her way home safely.
    Thank you!

  2. Deb W. March 22, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Hey Maria, you must have watched the same old “jungle movies” I did as a kid. It wasn’t until years later, when I heard (and saw) a Pileated in the woods near our home, that I realized how we’d all been fooled by a Hollywood sound man! (Actually, I owe him a vote of thanks. It made me a lot less likely to just accept things at face value.)
    Cheers, Deb 😉

  3. Patsy March 22, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    I would love to just walk through the quiet woods each and every day; which isn’t possible for me. To hear the quiet would be wonderful! Yea Spring!

  4. Donna in Delaware March 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I took a long walk on Sunday through different neighborhoods in my area. Fortunately, I live in a beautiful area, sort of like rural England, with valleys and gently rolling hills and dales and in passing some wooded areas with streams flowing and trickling through it, brush and briar, horse farms and a dairy farm smack dab in the middle of a wide open neighborhood, I stopped to appreciate nature in it’s bareform, but just starting to come to life. I smelled, watched, and listened to the quiet of the neighborhoods and life unfolding under my gaze. With the daffodils and crocus, blades of grass and weeds, buds on the trees and animals scurrying about, I basked in the warmth of the sunshine while watching people emerge from their dwellings to look over the damage from the winter and snow plows. I observed how strangers, driving by, waved at you with smiles on the faces, happy that the weather and all the natural world has started to also show their faces and smile with you. I felt like there is hope for humanity and the world after all. A beautiful thing!

  5. donna March 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    what a beautiful thing to be able to walk in and smell the woods. Here in the city not so pretty! but I dream on and will so drive to the woods to enjoy life!

  6. Anitra March 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    WoW! What a wonderful way to start your day! I’m a longtime lover of nature but very new to Going Greeen. I started a Blog chronicling my journey from Normal to Green. Please visit and let me know what you think I’d love your insight! fromnormaltogreen.com

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