I don’t care what the calendar says, today is the First Day of Spring. As I head out the door for my morning walk, the sun is brilliant and the sky clear blue. It’s a balmy 38 degrees and there are fluffy cumulus clouds low on the southwest horizon. Across the water there’s a sprinkling of snow on the top of Mt Constitution.
But it’s the scent of Spring that tells me She’s arrived! That essence of rich earth and mud, turning over and awakening, mixed in with the tang of salt from high tide just now receding.
My beloved slough has become Mirror Slough. I swear I have never before seen such a glassy surface on the water, such a perfect reflection of trees and sky. I have to stop and wonder why. Ah, I see — the slough is usually not this high and full. It is swollen from high tide and recent rains; the mallards are now swimming among the reeds in places they usually have to walk. The water is so high that it has risen above the muck and debris that usually floats on its surface. Another gift of winter storms, this crystalline clarity.
There’s my friend! Reddy, as Nikki calls him — the King of the Slough, Mr. Red Winged Blackbird, perched high on a telephone wire (an excellent vantage point) singing his heart out: “da da WHEEEEE dunk!” Perhaps he is marking his territory and trying to impress a potential mate. But I prefer to think he is as enraptured by the scent of Spring in the air as I am, and sings in gratitude and thanksgiving.
Three pairs of mallards swim down the slough, a bald eagle soars overhead, the ubiquitous LBB (Little Brown Bird) chit-chit-chits away on a leafless osoberry shrub. And my favorite, the kingfisher, comes coasting down to claim his spot on the telephone wire then just as quickly swoops up to a perch in a Doug fir tree, chattering all the while.
From the top of the hill, I hear a familiar dog howl, and the next thing I know Sage (Tami’s dog) and Rex (Colleen’s dog) come racing down to me, as if to say “You went on a walk and didn’t take us???????” After I give them both some love and attention, they bound off down the road in search of more adventures.
And me? I head home, turn off the heater, throw open the windows and doors, and let Spring make Herself at home.