Not quite yet. It’s not quite Spring enough and certainly too soon for Summer but it’s starting. The birds are coming back. We tell time here by when certain birds return, it’s one of the ways we make the year last longer. If you’re waiting for something to arrive it makes time slow down but the trick is you have something else lined up to wait for when you finally get what you’ve been waiting for in the first place. If you don’t then time grabs the bit between its teeth and races hell-for-leather forward and before you know it its way too late. You’ve lost a whole month or even a year or if you’re not really careful a whole damn life. We don’t want to lose a second, let alone a whole life, so our waiting calendar is pretty full.
Back in February the bluebirds arrived, then Robins, some people say the Robins don’t leave but I can tell you they avoid the high country until it warms up some. The Camp Robbers or Clark’s Nutcracker have been here all winter. They moved on down to get out of the miserable weather above the tree-line in December. We’re waiting for them to go back home. Magpies are another year-round bird here. We’re just waiting for them to do something different. Stellar Jays head downhill when the weather gets bad but they’ve started returning now, so all’s well with them.
Golden eagles are hanging out more on the cliff face behind the house and the Great horned owls have started nesting. There are a pair of Redtail hawks checking out the nest on the road to the cement plant so maybe we get to wait to see what happens there. And one of the big arrivals that screams out Spring, is the return of the Willox St. ospreys and they’re back. I saw the female sitting on the nest yesterday and the male perched nearby guarding her. Now we can wait for this year’s chicks to arrive. That cements Spring firmly in place. The world is becoming right again.
The glitterati of the bird world hasn’t shown up yet but that’s what happens when you wait. You gotta wait. We’re talking hummingbirds in all their various flavors and one of my personal superstars the Western Tanager pictured above. I’ve got time slowed down to just over twice its normal speed which is pretty good actually. There’s a line in an old song about going so fast that telephone poles going by looked like a picket fence. It used to be that days were the telephone poles, now it’s years that are the telephone poles. I’m actively considering adding waiting for the coming of free-range penguins to my wait list. That ought to slow things down pretty good.