Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Tag: spring

spring red bud
an open hand
catching sky

The Backyard at Sunset

I pull a rake against dry oak leaves
the wind gusts and twirls

an invisible rope
coiling through the cooling air

sunset and shadows cover the ground
I can no longer tell leaves from grass

the purpling sky is a fading sea
tugging the live oaks against gravity

mockingbirds call and chirp
I don’t know what they’re saying

but I believe them

Texas Bluebonnets

Texas Bluebonnets

Last weekend we went down to a nearby park to take the requisite child-in-a-field-of-bluebonnet photos that every every kid raised in central Texas has. This was S’s first time sitting in a field of flowers and he was quite suspicious of the whole procedure what with its overload of colors, sensations and fluttering butterflies, but we did get some good ones.

Last spring, with the drought underway, there were very few wildflowers and almost none of the Texas bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) for which central Texas is particularly famous, but with the surprising amount of rain we’ve had through winter and early spring, the wildflowers are putting on quite a show. Where it’s not blue, it’s bright yellow, so deep it seems as if the green of the grass beneath is an afterthought. Wildflowers own the prairie and lick like benign flame against the trunks of live oaks and mountain juniper.

Soon the bluebonnets will fade and we’ll see the reds: Mexican hat and firewheel and the bright yellows of the prickly pear as spring’s flowers give way to summer’s and heat and light drive us indoors or to oak-shaded patios and margaritas and iced tea. But for now, spring in Texas is about a good as it gets.

The Backyard in Spring

Common grackle

The grackles returned as is their wont around the first of the month. They spread out this time of year thus I only have five or six come around so the mockingbirds and blue jays still get their shot at the suet feeders.

I haven’t been filling the platform feeder as regularly as in the past. Too many mammals coming around and with a little boy, I’m inclined to keep it that way for a while. So it’s just suet and finch feeders for the most part, which the mammals don’t go for. And, with fewer doves hogging the yard, I’m seeing more mockingbirds and cardinals come around.

There’s also a nest in the nest box by the porch. I saw a chickadee hanging around the other morning and the nest doesn’t look like a wren’s nest, which is what I usually find in the nest box, so I’m hoping we’ll see some chickadees unless I scared them away when I opened the box to check it unaware that there would actually be anything in it (it hasn’t been used since 2009).

I didn’t do Project FeederWatch this year, but the usual winter suspects came around: ruby-crowned kinglet, yellow-rumped warbler, chipping sparrow and orange-crowned warbler. No American goldfinches this year, but the lesser goldfinches are here as always.

So spring is springing and the birds are coming around singing and each day there seems to be something new to show my son as we stand out on the porch listening to birds, though his favorite activities are waving at the dogs and laughing at the wind chimes. Through him, I’m seeing new wonders everywhere. The world is chock full of them.

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