Saturday, March 11, 2006

March Magic

What's the best thing about living in the woods? Every day, something magical happens.

Last night I heard spring peepers, not a lot yet, but some. Today was so warm that I was outside during the day in a t-shirt, cleaning leaves off the decks that didn't finish falling until about one day before the first snow. After dark it was still warm, so I sat out on my front deck in a long-sleeved t-shirt and was comfortable, enjoying the evening. Even the moths were out. The only light in the woods is my porch light, a 100-watt bulb in a lamp.

My neighbor from further up the mountain was out for an evening walk on our dirt road and headed into my lane when he saw me sitting on the deck, under the light. We chatted for a bit, mostly about what animals we've seen lately. While we're sitting on the deck we hear the sound of a huge flock of Canada geese go by overhead. I didn't see a single bird, but I know how much noise a few thousand geese can make, and this group must have numbered in that range.

Several minutes later we hear the sound of snow geese. The sound gets closer and closer. Suddenly the geese appear, just over the tops of the trees, a flock of 75 or so, lit up underneath by my single light bulb. The lighting effect on the geese looks otherwordly. The white breasts of the birds glowed as they passed overhead, so close we could hear the sound of their wings over the honks as they headed north, soon passing out of the range of my light and into the dark.

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