Pleasures of Spring
Urbanna, Va.— Ah, fair spring is here, pollen and all. My deck off the kitchen is rich in animal life. Every morning at breakfast I am entertained by a flurry of activity. It’s better than the movies.
|by Mary Wakefield Buxton|
Papa Cardinal likes to feed his lady friend. Handsome guy, my red bird. She perches demurely at his side and allows him to choose a seed and then gently transfer it into her open beak. They later feed their chicks in the same fashion, and I love to watch as the nourished baby bird flutters his entire body in joyous approval.
Birds mate for life and they share the duty of raising their offspring. Sometimes I think birds do a better job with raising children than humans, and there is no divorce in the bird world.
The red and yellow tulips and purple hyacinths are in bloom and the Carolina jasmine is afire on the telephone pole at the street; bright yellow against the Easter green grass and blue sky. The reflecting river is “as smooth as a mirror,” as Father used to say about Lake Erie on those long ago perfect spring days back in Ohio.
I spent yesterday afternoon planting impatiens in flower pots for the front door, and the perennial daisies in Mother’s best ceramic pot are starting to grow. I love the daisies because they are wild and come up every year without my having to do anything.
The proud geraniums have been sunning all winter at a window over at Sprout Cottage and are now moved to the back patio. Freshly fertilized, they are a vivid red and bushy leafed. The red camellias have been blooming since January and the pink azaleas are in full regalia.
There is a new splash of color in full bloom in the backyard this year. It is a Japanese cherry tree ordered through River Birch Nursery and planted in memory of our dear friend, the late Dr. Brockett Muir.
The last of the daffodils have waned as well as the crocus that shot up through the snow and mulch in February. The peach blooms have faded but the dogwood is out, and the redbuds planted along the back fence are a duo of exploding red leaves.
This year’s vegetable garden contains tomatoes and peppers. If only the squirrels and moles will allow us some produce. They are like the government when it comes to helping themselves to the fruits of our labor.
“Lord” and “Lady” are happy that I am home again from my visit to La La Land. After I return, they follow me like a pair of shadows as if suspecting that if I am let out of sight for even one moment, I should skitter off again.
The dogs love to lie in the grass; their ears perked for birdsong and watching me as I work in the garden. They are content but ever on guard in case a marauding rabbit or savage chipmunk might try to attack Mom.
“Lord” is particularly possessive and fastens a golden retriever paw on me every time I sit down to read a book. The paw is unflinching. “You are mine,” it says to all who might wonder.
“Lord, please remove your paw from my lap,” I say every now and then. Nothing doing. A paw laid by the Lord is a paw laid forever. The only way to remove it is for me to get up with a deep sigh and go off to my office to write.
The pup follows like a shot. At the computer I suddenly feel his paw back on my knee. “You are mine, old girl,” it says once again. There is no escape from a loving dog.
“Lady” is more refined and content merely to follow me from room to room throughout the day, and move into her favorite chair in whatever room we are in and snooze with one eye open and drilled on me.
The dogs keep me happy. They are loyal and loving pals that offer companionship throughout life. Taking a walk with a dog through the town of Urbanna is a major pleasure of spring. ©2009