Sunday, March 22, 2009

Morning Noises

I just escorted Schroeder, our Miniature Dachshund, out into the back yard for his first constitutional of the day, part of my usual early morning routine. I was both surprised and comforted by the cacophony of sounds that presented themselves to us as we stepped out the back door onto the deck. Spring is in the air, and the signs are everywhere.

Canada geese flew directly overhead, heading back home from their winter southern habitat, honking like New York City taxi cabs. Schroeder stopped dead in his tracks, just long enough to survey the skies and reassure himself that the geese weren’t planning a rest stop on the open water behind our home.

A fox flashed through the yard as we came around the corner of the garage, almost ghostlike as he entered the tall grass with a nearly silent swish.

As we walked across the crunchy, frost-laden grass, we heard birds all around, waking each other up and communicating with song, practically laughing in the new sunshine.

Several dogs were barking in the distance, from all directions, confusing Schroeder while he pranced around his yard with a sense of ownership. His return barks were a combination of greeting and warning – stay away, this is my territory!

From the grassland just beyond our grove of Norway Pines, the Sandhill Cranes trumpeted their homecoming.

Its clucking reminiscent of the tap-tap of an old Model T horn, a colorful Ring-necked Pheasant flapped its way through the nearby field. The long Minnesota winter, much of it spent foraging for food, is over, and the pheasant numbers seem to remain stable.

A slight breeze from the north carried the scent and sounds of a neighboring farm. It gently turned the blades of our squealing windmill, reminding me that one of these days I will need to climb to the top and grease its moving parts.

Another neighbor maneuvered a beefy pick-up truck down his quarter-mile-long gravel driveway, and a flock of ducks rose up out of the small pond, quacking their displeasure at being bothered.

I can feel a smile cross my face as I remember the sounds that filled the air, and can’t wait for the addition of the only missing orchestra members – the multitude of frogs, toads and crickets that will soon join the symphony as the weather warms.

Welcome spring!


Anonymous said...

HA HA HA When was the last time that YOU were the one that climbed up to the top of that windmill..? :)

Dennis Sterner said...

Yes, it's been awhile. But now that my windmill-climbing monkey (aka Anonymous) has moved away, the job of maintaining the windmill once again returns to me...

CousinK said...

Dennis, this one is especially good! Your descriptions are right on. That adorable tiny dog of yours getting acquainted with HIS yard and the big world around him makes me smile.

Dana Leigh said...

It's an awesome thing when you can pause and take in all the sounds of nature and the sounds around us and just appreciate being able all around us. It's something that a lot of us should do more often.