Monday, April 20, 2009

Springtime in New England

Spring in New England looks like this.

Almost overnight, everything has started to bloom. The daffodils and cherry blossoms. Yellow forsythia everywhere. Green shoots on trees, and buds about to burst. A sky almost searingly blue. Am I the only one who sometimes believes that nature must surely be putting on a display just to match their emotions? It's been a long winter of hibernation, and I'm glad to be coming back to life again.

I spent all Saturday afternoon sitting in my friend's backyard -- a bird shangri-la with about ten feeders offering a smorgasbord of thistle, safflower, sunflower, millet, peanuts, suet, you name it. Cardinals, pine siskins, goldfinches, mourning doves, grackles, downy woodpeckers. I watched one sweet little female goldfinch. She perched at the feeder for at least an hour, occasionally pecking a thistle or just looking around, soaking up a bit of sun. I mean, what better for a finch to do on a day like this?

I have a weakness for squirrels, so I put down a big handful of cashews for them as well. This one squirrel kept darting over, picking up a nut, and fleeing up a tree to devour his treasure. Eventually he decided I was no threat, and then he just sat his butt down and devoured cashew after cashew, till I worried I was committing some kind of squirrel endangerment. Look at the frenzy in that eye! I think he's even clutching not one but two nuts in his rodenty little paws.


  1. The glorious cashew is not a delicacy for squirrels only. Picture the bowl of toasty-brown, mixed nuts on the Christmas table. The furtive finger, full of stealth, which slides past the inferior peanuts, glides around the pecans until it finds the treasure of the hidden cashew. But perhaps it's ultimate goal is the golden macadamia. The poor old peanut in its rubble of shells is all that is left in the bowl at the end of the day.

  2. Indeed, those pointless peanuts! Why do they bother?!

  3. Monsieur Squirrel, you are so adorable. Please stay as sweet as you are (don't visit your harum-scarum cousins in NYC; they will be a terrible influence on your good character).