Flashes of lightning and the rumble of an approaching thunderstorm woke me early this morning. Typical crazy March weather here in the Shenandoah Valley. Yesterday a cold snap followed on the heels of several wonderfully balmy days. The weatherman predicts more storms this afternoon, but we’re glad for the rain after last summer’s drought and a fairly dry winter. Cold, but dry. Now we’re catching up on some much-needed moisture.
Ducks and geese love all the puddles that come with the rain, and our pond is finally full again after dwindling to a sad state last summer. Happy quacks resound against the lovely trill of the meadowlark, my favorite songbird. Also, one of the first signs of spring. My goal is to ever actually see one of these elusive birds again. Supposedly, this shouldn’t such a challenge. Once or twice, I’ve glimpsed a yellow flash and spotted the bird perched on a fence post before it flew. Mostly, though, they hide in the grass and skim away to another spot before I get a good look, calling all the while from various positions in the meadow.
Last spring daughter Elise and I were determined to track down the evasive songster and tenaciously followed its calls, even climbed over the fence into the neighbor’s pasture and picked our way along the little creek, but never caught up with that bird, or birds. There may have been more than one. So unless I catch another rare glimpse, I must content myself with their beautiful trills. Birds like this need tall grasses and untidy hedge rows for nesting. Bear that in mind in your own yard and garden. Keeping everything trim and cultivated robs our feathered friends of habitat. It’s also a good excuse for a less than perfectly kept landscape. A little wilderness here and there is a good thing.
For more on the Western Meadowlark~
*Images of our farm taken by daughter Elise. Royalty free Image of meadowlark–until we can finally photograph one.