Even though our daytime temps flirted with the 60-degree mark two months ago, (a fact which we all knew was a fluke for February in Southeast Michigan), to me, today felt like the first real Spring day.
So, here we are on the cusp of baseball season, and, those dreary, rain-filled days are a distant memory, perhaps Spring fever might finally be settling in.
Today I left for my walk later than usual to bask in the mid-day warmth, and, just by stepping outside, Spring assailed my senses.
First, I opened the screen door and automatically glanced over to my neighbor Marge’s big thermometer, and, yes … it was already well over 50 degrees and the sun was shining brightly in the blue sky.
But, something caught my eye besides just that thermometer that is mounted on the wooden deck. It was Mama Mourning Dove who was perched on the top bar of the glider where she could monitor the egg resting in the nest she had so carefully crafted. This little feathered lady found herself an ornamental mesh wire basket that is tucked away onto the top shelf of a wrought-iron gazebo. Marge’s son, Jeff, discovered the nest and egg yesterday. So now, we can all watch and wait for the hatching of one, or maybe more, baby doves.
After shutting the screen door, as I walked to the garage to run the car, I could not help but notice my neighbor across the street rolling a huge black motorcycle out of the garage and onto the driveway. I’ve often heard that motorcycle, but never saw its owner. So, while I ran the car in the garage, I glanced across the street in my rearview mirror. I saw a selfie being taken, then, while watching her reflection in the kitchen window, the helmet was donned after tucking her hair carefully beneath it. The kickstand went up, and soon that Motorcycle Mama took off with a loud vroom.
I shut the garage and walked down the driveway, as I still heard the rumble of that big machine in the distance, long after she had turned the corner.
As I mentioned above, I think our weather also has turned a corner. Within a block, I’d shed my gloves, depositing them in the bag I was using to carry not one, but two, Ziploc bags of peanuts for the squirrels at Council Point Park. I was feeling generous today, since last time they were clamoring for more, and I hate to disappoint them. To ensure I don’t run out for future forays to the Park, I bought another two large bags when I went grocery shopping yesterday.
Two blocks later, the hat came off and was similarly shoved into the bag, then my coat was off and looped around my waist. At that rate, I probably should have just headed back home and ditched those clothes, but I stayed the course.
Nothing signals Spring’s arrival like the first day the forsythia bushes begin to bloom. I passed dozens of homes with that touch of bright-yellow on their property – how welcome those golden dabs are in the still-drab landscape!
I walked leisurely, enjoying the birdsong that came from every tree I passed.
No rest on Sunday for the woodpeckers, who were hard at work, rat-a-tat-tatting while drilling holes with their beaks in their favorite tree.
I smelled that smoky burn of charcoal briquettes and saw a plume of dark smoke wafting from a backyard kettle grill.
And, as I neared Council Point Park, I heard the squeals of laughter by children at the playground equipment, where they queued up and disappeared down into the tunnels of the covered, curvy slides.
Once I got to the Park, I found the parking lot full. It was Sunday strolling for many families who walked the perimeter path with babies in strollers, or tots toddling at their heels. Older children passed me on bicycles, their wheels whirring on the perimeter path as they zoomed by.
For once, the squirrels did not wage a full-on attack once they saw me. I was a little disappointed, but soon realized it was because I was not the only one tendering treats today. A trio of women brought lots of peanuts and each was tossing them out while simultaneously snapping photos with a smartphone. Just like when I feed them and have my camera in tow, those eager squirrels were only too happy to rush over and swarm around those women to get their share of peanuts and pose for the obligatory photos.
When I got to the second loop of the perimeter path, I found a pair of eager squirrels who rushed on over, thus helping to quickly repair my wounded feelings.
The tree that snapped in two and was the subject of a recent blog post is still there, its top half remaining submerged in the murky waters of the Creek.
The sunshine and warm day brought out the best in people, and even the pooches accompanying their masters, were wagging their tails … yup, everyone was enjoying their Spring Fling.
What more could we ask for on this first Sunday in April?
I did two complete loops today, which, including my roundtrip from home is five miles. I felt like I could have walked more, but didn’t want to overdo it. As I got to the end of the second loop, one of the many memorial trees on the grounds got my attention with its new and beautiful silk flower arrangement at the base, with a very lifelike butterfly hovering nearby.
I realized then, that flowers and butterflies were the only things missing from this beautiful Spring day. But, we all have patience – this is Michigan after all, and, in a couple of more months, flowers and butterflies also will be present and accounted for.