Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring in the Backyard

It's finally starting to look like spring, barring the occasional late snow-shower like we had last week. The yard is a carpet of violets, the magnolia at the corner of the house is actually almost past its prime, and the house is filled with vases of daffodils.

There are three Mallard ducks, two males and a female, who come to our bird feeder every evening to eat the seed that the other birds drop. The outdoor cat watches them from a distance, and they watch him with sidelong glances. The ducks pretend to be nonchalant, while the cat crouches low to the ground and pretends to be invisible. Each knows the other is there and each pretends not to care.

The squirrels look thin and drawn compared to their wintertime chubbiness. They like the bird seed too. We had raccoons at the bird feeder during the winter, but they haven't been around lately. There was a possum the other day, though, looking mean and tough. He didn't stay too long.

We've been out in the back part of the property every day, checking for wild mushrooms and tame asparagus. Both pop up, expected and yet unexpectedly. It's likely been too dry yet for the mushrooms (after all of winter's snow, "too dry" seems like a joke, but mushrooms are finicky), but the asparagus should appear any day now. At least we know where to look for it, on the north border of the garden, in a neat row planted over 20 years ago when we first moved here. The mushrooms could be anywhere, hiding under remnants of dried fall leaves or new spring grass.

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