So much to be thankful for in spring

Susan Manzke
A crocus that the cat didn’t smash.

For most of my life when asked what my favorite season was, I’d answer autumn. The smells and the colors appealed to me.

Though I still love fall, spring now tops my favorite list. The main reason I especially love spring is that winter is finally over. Can’t beat that reason.

Next is the greening of the countryside. For some weeks, after the end of snow, the landscape is mostly brown. Now hay fields are green and getting brighter every day, especially after a warm rain.

When I wrote this, trees in my area hadn’t started budding, but the lilac bush has. It will take weeks before real color is added to the yard. I did have a tiny white crocus bloom. I went inside the house to get my camera, but I was too late. A barn cat had stretched out on top of it, smashing it flat. Sad for the flower. No photo for me.

Of course, all seasons have work of their own. Summer is for mowing and gardening. Fall is harvest and prep for winter. Winter is shoveling and shoveling and more shoveling. Spring has many chores, starting by picking up all the tree litter that fell during all those winter storms.

Susan demonstrates using grabber to pick up pinecone.

Bob focused his first yard attention on picking up pinecones. Since my husband couldn’t bend because of a bad hip, he used a grabber and lifted one pinecone at a time, and put it in a bucket before tossing it on our brush pile. To keep from being bored, Bob counted all the pinecones he picked up though he didn’t mark the calendar with the amount.

Bob was an expert with his grabber. He could pick up a coin that was flat on the floor. He would demonstrate this for me but eventually, he bent the end of the grabber and no matter how he adjusted it, it wouldn’t close enough to do the coin trick.

Now I have the job of getting the litter out of the way of the lawnmower. Being influenced by Bob, I brought out a bucket and his old grabber. It seemed it would be easier using it to pick up the pinecones instead of leaning over for each one.

Amazingly, I had some issues using the grabber. Too many times, I’d be lifting a pinecone to the bucket, only to drop it just before getting to the opening. Doing that meant I had to pick it up twice and there were enough on the ground already to keep me busy. I didn’t want to double my work. 

I put the grabber down and did my usual, that being bending over, again and again, picking up the pinecones by hand maybe three or four at a time.

Geese making a sound cacophony.

Later, I brought out the cart so I could toss sticks and leaf litter in the back. The basswood tree is notorious for dropping old branches, mostly small ones, but no matter if large or small, they needed picking up.

When I had enough for a load, I hopped into the cart with Sunny and took off down the lane to dump my load in the brush pile.

As I neared the large mound, Sunny and I disturbed hundreds of Canada geese in the adjoining field.

In seconds all those geese rose into the sky. As they flew, they honked in a loud chorus. It was quite amazing. The dog and I just stopped, watched, and listened.

One morning, a flock of red-winged blackbirds gathered in the trees surrounding the house. The sound was amazing and just as I was getting ready to record their noise, they took off, too. Darn.

A smaller bird friend.

I love listening to all the birds as they gather here, the noisier the better. When I hear their clamor I think of my favorite word, describing it. It’s certainly a wonderful cacophony.

Some of nature’s sounds are less noisy, like the chirps of spring peeper frogs.  

Spring has so much to be thankful for. The only thing that bugged me was a wicked wind that came through here. When it calmed again, I found I had more sticks and pinecones to pick up. Ugh!

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;