The Siren Song of Spring

Overhead the Canadian geese are chatting amongst themselves, as they move in with the warmer weather. Happily, there are a lot of options nearby for them to land and feed in. Their chatting voices are by necessity rather loud since they need to be heard above the sound of the rushing wind, and since their v – shaped flying patterns keep them spaced very widely apart. I wouldn’t think there are very many intimate conversations going on, just stories about how grandpa used to love this place or how that place dried up like a desert last year, and instructions to the young ones to note that particular landmark. I rejoice in their sound since it means that at least one other species thinks that the weather is going to get warmer.

Another sound of spring that cheers me is the pervasive sound of water trickling under the bottom of a plate of ice, of water whooshing through our downspouts, and rising in the ditches. It means that our blanket of 2 or 3 feet of snow is slowly, reluctantly, giving way to the sunshine. It is replenishing the aquifer gradually that flows beneath my farm, because we live in the country, and because this year it is melting slowly enough to be absorbed into the ground.

I realize that the majority of you who live in cities probably miss a lot of these water sounds. So much of the ground is “developed” and paved over that the spring runoff goes directly to storm water collection systems. It is a rather recent development that water in the cities gets hidden away quickly underground in man-made structures.

I remember as a kid walking to school crossing a little bridge that spanned a creek that snaked around our area. I was fascinated by the water, which only flowed quickly in the spring. Sometimes there would be a broken bicycle pushed up against a rock or a rainbow of colours where someone dumped a questionable mix of chemicals into the creek. I guess we thought that the water could flush anything away without being affected. Now when I go back to that neighbourhood, the water is safely hidden away. I hope that this will protect the quality of the water, but I doubt it. Most Canadian municipalities cannot fund upgrades and improvements to their waste water systems. See this article entitled Look Before you Leak in the ezine Water Canada.

Whoops, this is supposed to be an uplifting post about spring. Sorry, did I mention the new sounds of birds?…