Thursday, March 25, 2010


Spring is taking a pause at Roundtop this week. I’m not surprised, perhaps I’m even a bit relieved. Sustained warm weather in March, however much I appreciated a few days of it, simply isn’t normal. This past February was the snowiest on record in this area, and that was followed by what is shaping up to be the fifth warmest March ever. No wonder the change was so noticeable, and no wonder spring is taking a breather.

The pace of migration has slowed, too. Now that the snow geese and tundra swans, who are always desperate to reach their northern breeding grounds, are though, it will probably be a while before much else arrives. I do expect the towhees before long, but the insect-eating birds are probably the better part of a month away from reaching my cabin.

Last evening I was out peering at the tiny shoots of green that are starting to appear on the forest floor. At this stage—barely visible—I can’t identify much. So perhaps that’s why I didn’t notice the commotion around me until I was forced to. Suddenly, one of my chickens darted by me, a worm in her mouth, followed by 3 or 4 of the rest of the flock in hot pursuit. One had found the worm, which must be like lobster to chickens, and the others were hell-bent on stealing it from her. They raced around, soon squawking and flying. It looked like football or rugby or some very serious contact sport, but eventually the finder of the worm beat out her pursuers and gobbled the delicacy herself. Maybe I’ll get back to trying to identify plants tonight—or maybe I’ll just let the chickens out again.

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