Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Every spring is different

Rue anemone at sunset
As if the budding trees and blooming wildflowers weren’t enough, I can tell it’s spring by the amount of sounds in the forest around my cabin.  The sound of wild turkeys gobbling, the sound of a fox barking,  the call of the phoebes and Carolina wrens, the rush of wind through the trees—all of this is quite a change from the quiet of winter.  For some reason I’m still not used to all the spring sounds yet.  The season sounds noisy to me.

Or perhaps it’s only that I can no longer filter out sounds the way I used to, the way I imagine people who live in cities do.  Or even towns.  It’s hard to hear the forest for all the noise going on inside it right now.  And it will only get louder as more of the summer resident birds arrive and start singing for a mate.

In winter the sounds of even a quiet footfall or a distant limb breaking and falling somewhere let me know what’s going on around these woods.  But now I hear so many other things that I can’t hear those more distant or quiet sounds anymore.  I suppose this happens every spring, but for some reason I’m noticing it more this year.

Every spring some things are different, even in the same forest.  This year the rue anemone are thicker than I’ve ever seen them . The forest across from my cabin is so thick with them that I don’t dare walk over there, as I could not avoid stepping on them. There must be hundreds of plants, looking almost like little cotton balls strewn across the forest floor.

And yet, I didn’t have any bloodroot this spring, and I found only a few hepatica plants.  Already the trout lilies are done blooming, and the leaves of the purple violets are just appearing.  The forest is ever-changing, season by season and year by year.  Even in the same place.

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