A few days ago, I saw the first hummingbird of the season, flitting around the sourgrass, sticking its beak into the tiny purple blossoms. Since then, I've seen several of them, hovering blurry-winged among the leaves. Yesterday afternoon, a pair of blue jays repeatedly flew from a nearby tree and chased each other around the utility pole in front of my house, and then back to the tree. I heard the calls of unseen birds from round about as well. There seem to be more of them this year, probably due to the mild winter.
After dark, I heard a bird making an unfamiliar call; a short descending note with a tone rather like that of a clarinet. Whatever it was, it didn't mind being out in the soft rain which was then falling. The raindrops were so fine that they made barely a sound, their collective impact like a piece of very fine sandpaper being drawn lightly over a board. This aural image was intensified by the fact that the damp trees were emitting a scent reminiscent of sawdust. Once enough moisture had collected on the trees and bushes, I began to hear the splattering of the condensed drops on the plush spring grass.
Later, the rain fell faster, and a breeze came up, driving the cool drops through the moonless night. The air is milder now, and I can leave the windows open wide enough that I can hear the water trickling out of the downspout, and the soft splash of drops on the wild plum leaves. It won't be long before I can fling them wide, and the night will be filled with the scent of jasmine.
I have neither seen nor heard the deer for many nights. They must be finding sufficient food in the woods and meadows nearer the river. No need for them to browse here, along the dangerous roads, and where their movement is blocked by houses and garden fences. Thus the pansies blooming furiously along my driveway remain uneaten, for a little longer. Eventually, the deer will return and find this abundant floral feast awaiting them. Until then, I can enjoy the bright colors under the shifting light of changeable spring days.