Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

Postcard from the Pines: Spring fever, it’s catching

Wednesday is here – deadline day – and once again I am sitting here staring at the darn computer screen. As usual, I couldn’t think of a thing to write about this week, but sometimes when I start typing…
Part of the problem is keeping my mind on what I should be doing. The middle of April is just past. The sun is shining. It is sooo hard to stay inside and get my writing done when I would rather go out and sit in the sunshine.
The weather is beautiful, sunny and getting warmer every day. There are buds on most of the trees, on my lilacs. The grass is turning greener by the hour and the yard here at home is telling me it desperately needs the attention of a lawn mower already.
No morels are popping up yet, at least not that I have heard, but I am sure it won’t be long now. I’m missing mushroom hunting in our yard on the Tobacco – there aren’t any around here, but we have an abundance of cattails next door.
Jack has been working on the spring cleaning. So far I have been able to resist that although I still have some winter clothes to put away. The weather has been pretty warm lately, but I don’t trust it and anyway I stay in most of the time. And, I do have articles to write.
It’s a good thing I can’t see the bird feeders from this computer. I get completely engrossed with watching the bird’s antics. Our feeders have been doing a brisk business with lots of our feathered visitors, especially goldfinches, who by the way are a beautiful yellow again (all dressed up for summer). We’ve been swamped with red winged blackbirds, cowbirds, and a red-bellied woodpecker (he doesn’t have a red belly, but he does have red on his head.
When Jack fills the feeders, it is a fight to see who gets to the seeds first. Those now brilliant goldfinches are ferocious contenders for the thistle seed in that feeder. They fight constantly for a spot on one six or eight perches to get some of those seeds.
At least, unlike at our old place, we don’t have squirrels. We had an abundance there, all constantly looking for a handout.
Here we have mice that like thistle seed. Our camper is for sale and parked in our front yard and we have had a couple of tiny freeloaders move in recently. They are tiny field mice and I guess they thought they could just make themselves at home.
They seem to always find a way in and also like living in the garage. The first one Jack caught had helped himself to thistle seed that fell on the ground in the last windstorm. He was stashing his food in the bathroom sink in the camper.
We have been seeing a lot of deer in the area when we travel. No spring babies yet, but from the size of some bellies on the deer, it won’t be long I’ll bet. On the Tobacco they would bring their babies right up by the house – showing them off I guess.
Remember, if you do see wildlife babies while you are out, the Department of Natural Resources cautions, “don’t touch them or bring them home.” Chances are “Mom” is close by, watching to see what you do. Human interference can cause some animals to abandon their young.

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