Tuesday, February 10, 2015
She smiles sweetly and I fall for it all over again. Even though I know better.
Siskins bounce off the windows sounding like someone playing timpani against the east side of the house. They cluster at the base of the feeders like barnyard chickens, packed so densely that they have trouble turning around, then lift off in tornadoes of yellow-striped wings, a few inevitably spinning into the double-paned reflection of Carolina blue skies. A steady drum beat of avian surprise. Thump. Thump. Thump. The opening riff of Spring.
I wander the woods around our place, clearing the boxes of last year’s nests while bluebird pairs chatter at me for disturbing their pre-season house-hunting. In one I find five pale azure eggs and I wonder. An extreme early clutch? Probably not. More likely a brood abandoned last year and the thought of it makes me sad. But I leave them in place, nonetheless; in the hopes…
The small pond above the house is filled with last fall's leaves and needs to be dredged, but not right away. For, along with the leaves, suspended in the shallow waters, are masses of goo; iridescent green globs of gelatinous pre-life, salamander egg masses clad in brilliant chartreuse symbiotic algae. The pond was built for just this purpose, the incubation of the shy spotted amphibian, and this year it’s doing the job quite nicely. Zeppelin sniffs at the pool, then turns, uninterested in the aquatic, and trots off to explore the deeper woods for things more warm-blooded. I follow as it seems a good idea.
Down the ridge, Mary sits on the porch and reads. That entails as much napping as it does study, but that’s what days like this are for. Seventy degrees in early February is a treat. A thawing of fingers and heart alike. A delight.
But, unfortunately, it’s all just a tease. A quick flash of leg quickly hidden by a swirling skirt of dried leaves blown by late-winter winds. A warm, breathless whisper followed by an arctic blast. A chaste peck on the cheek followed by a frigid slap in the face.
A kiss and a wink of Spring in February. I know it’s a flirt, that there's another cold shoulder coming, but I fall for the ruse just the same.
I'm so easy.