In the hot, bright afternoon, I rousted a mourning cloak butterfly from where it was sipping on a pothole in the driveway. I watched red tailed hawks soar circles around a blue sky above the dried-up, rustling fields. I stopped along the roadside to dip my fingers into the soil below the leaning skeletons of asparagus stalks, checking for new growth, taking the pulse of the earth. Bluebirds warbled their hoarse happy songs from road sign perches and telephone wires.
As I pushed little round peas into the cold wet soil of one raised bed, three sandhill cranes flew just over my head, their feet dangling and necks gangling. I heard one whistle in between its croaks. I didn't know they did that. As the chickens alternated between baths of sun and dust, I weeded the spinach, which is perky with new green leaves. I planted four kinds of lettuce, but just a few rows. Sunday's forecast calls for snow.
Tonight there's a single spring peeper peeping over by the ditch that serves as a duck pond in our little camp. Two nights ago the first woodcock was "peenting" out in the front yard, gearing up for a flight display. Spring's been blowing in from every direction lately.