Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Tease


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.

12 comments:

CathyB said...

Very nice, Mike. And alas, all too true.

Ross Brecke said...

Wow, what a wordsmith! Great stuff Mike! Put a huge smile on my face this morning up here in Minnesota where we're backhanded every other day by old man winter.

Mike Sepelak said...

Such days are a challenge for piedmont gardeners, aren't they Cathy? ;-)

Thanks, Ross. Glad to share the warmth. Hope that Ms. Spring spreads her charms your way soon.

Mel said...

70 Degrees in Northern Colorado this week, Mike! I hear you.............. I fell for the ruse, too. Supposed to snow tomorrow.

Mike Sepelak said...

It's despicable, isn't it Mel? But then, better an occasional tease than all snow, no?

Dan Mikalian said...

Spring: The second hottest of the seasons.

Mike Sepelak said...

In oh so many ways, Dan. Cheers!

Mike Sepelak said...

Just for the record, six days later it snowed. Spring... she's heartless.

Capt'n Preston McQueen said...

Got to smile finding the link to this post on Mid Current. I think we all want to know famous folks, well, Mike your mine :-) Glad to hang out with you and of course like reading your images...

Mike Sepelak said...

Famous? HA! Funny stuff, Preston.

I asked my friend Erin about this; why she mentioned this particular post in her Tippets section when there's absolutely no fishing in it. She responded that she pointed to it BECAUSE there was no fishing.

We agree, the two of us, that the most boring part of fishing stories is the fishing itself. Good thing, 'cause there's not been much fishing going on around here lately. Need to do something about that.

Soon.

jean-paul Buttigieg said...

I always enjoy your pics and your writing Mike
JP

Mike Sepelak said...

Thanks, JP. I appreciate your dropping by and saying hello.