Signs of Spring

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As I drove down our main street of our small town, past the Ohio

Wesleyan campus, I saw all the signs of Spring. The women’s track

team all had their black, red and white detailed tank tops and their

‘silky’ running shorts on. Then, not too long after I stopped at the

next red light, the men’s track team was literally ‘on their tail.’ They

were shirtless, in recognition of the 60 degree weather.

The wind was briskly whipping at the American flag in the front of

our City Hall building. I decided to keep on driving, taking the fast

route to the library. Usually, I ‘claim’ my parking space at my apart-

ment building, and walk the one city block to the library. As I parked

my car on the street, I looked over to the side of me. There was a

young couple with a puppy on a pink leash walking on the sidewalk.

When I got out of the car, I smiled and told them,

“What a cute puppy!” They stopped to tell me she was only 7 weeks

old and a mixed breed from the Delaware County Animal Shelter. It

tickled me that they wished to share her name, “Candy Kiss.” (Inside

my head, I thought maybe the young girl had had a ‘hand’ at choosing

the adorable golden ball of fluff’s name.) I told them it was a sweet name

for a friendly puppy. I also mentioned she seemed to have a lot of ‘spunk.’

They let me pet her, while I asked,

“What will you call her when you want her to come?”

They looked at each other, the guy said, “C.K.?”

The girl inquired of her boyfriend, “Candy?”

I nodded my head and said, “Time will tell. We tended to call our puppies

‘Baby,’ so often, we didn’t get their adult dog name used for months.”

It had the color of caramel candy mixed with the texture of a soft afghan

shawl.

While I headed across the street and into the library parking lot, I heard

a loud, but friendly shout. I turned since I assumed when it came directly

my way, it was for me…

“Hi, Lady!”

The two young men I had given a ride to their grandmother’s hair salon,

were now gliding along on their skate boards. I went back to the sidewalk

and gave them a big smile, while inquiring how they were? Both “Hudson”

and his pal were doing, “Super.” “Hudson” had gone into a different place

to look for work, he had been considering, “Son of Thurman’s” but instead

got hired on at Arby’s which opened just about a month ago.

The other, more quiet young man did not mention any source of employment

nor did I ask.

I told them I needed to get in and blog, since my son will be coming over

this evening to haul my 8 year old love seat out of my living room. My son

says, sight unseen, they may use it as a place to sit on the back patio or

in the garage.It has been awhile since my son has visited me, since they

are the ones who often offer me dinner or I go to pick up their children

and take them away, so the two of them get some much needed ‘alone’

time.

The leather parts are sill so beautiful but the areas of the chair which have

a vinyl ‘substitute’ are worn out. Now that I don’t have any more toddlers to

play “slide” up and down on the furniture, I had gone with my oldest daughter

to check out prices on a new piece of furniture. I am going to not only have a

sofa (or do you call yours a ‘couch?’); I have ordered one with a ‘chaise.’

My Mom hates that television commercial where a woman says ‘chaise’

repeatedly in an elegant, but kind of haughty way. I am not even sure of

what product they are selling on this commercial?

I saw crocuses in the garden by the church and spring beauties in the wild

grass in the woods. I had seen a week ago, before the last three inches of

snow came the other night, pussy willow bush had the soft pussy buds on it.

The ducks have been quacking at an ungodly hour, while my grandson had

tried to get me up and out to feed them in the dark, I had finally told him,

“The ducks like the dark to be romantic in. We need to wait until the sun comes

up.”

Micah had not blinked or been phased by this quaint explanation. Nope, he just

came back with a shocking retort:

“Nana! Don’t you mean to say it is ‘mating season?'”

Yep, that is matter of fact, true. Thanks to a six year old, ‘know it all.’ Smiles!

The newspaper described a beautiful and intricate bird courting process. The

birding article was about what the woodcock does to ‘woo’ his lady. He soars up

high, between 100 to 300 feet into the air.

Can you imagine this?

Then, he comes straight down in a wonderful helicopter landing appearance.

I kid you not. The forest rangers in nearby metro-parks are gathering children

at a certain time of day, to see this elaborate mating dance of the woodcocks.

The park rangers and naturalists have captured this in videos, as well as still

life photographs. The males are not hard to find, since you look above your

head, into the branches of the trees, usually in a small meadow or opening in

the woods.

You may wish to check if you have any close to where you live.

The bird is brown and stocky. I described him as “chubby” to my coworkers.

They are ‘cousins’ to those sandpipers you see along coast lines, but they have

significant differences.\

He has a long slender bill and has a sweet look about him.

Or is it just a ‘glint’ in his eye?

This may be because woodcocks’ eyes are located on the side of their faces.

Just to help you locate where the nearest woodcocks may be found here is a

list of known birds and their countries:

1. Eurasian woodcocks.

2. Amami woodcocks- Japan.

3. Javan woodcocks- Sumatra and Java.

4. New Guinea woodcocks.

5. Bukidnon woodcocks- the Philippines.

6. Sulawesi woodcocks- Indonesia.

7. Moluccan woodcocks- Indonesia.

8. American woodcocks.

The fascinating detail I learned, in my quick search for facts on woodcocks, is they

may have existed over 5 million years ago, since their relatives’ fossils have been

found.

What are some of the details you have noticed in any changes in weather or

season? I realize we are not all in Spring season nor warming temperatures.

Let us know what is going on in your nature’s scenery close to you, please.

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About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

37 responses »

  1. it’s really nice of the forest rangers to gather children to watch the woodcocks’ mating dance, it sure must be a sight not to miss. well, just until 3 days ago, it was quite pleasant here but now rather hot… summers come on pretty strong here and quickly, while winters are short lived, 3 months at the most.

    • We have a lot of interesting nature programs which help me to decide what I should do, to help my own grandchildren to learn more about their environment. I laughed at the description of my grandson, knowing ducks don’t really ‘do romance.’ The photo of the woodcock, in the Columbus Dispatch, was beautiful and showed the way their wings flap, too.
      Thanks for your visiting and expressing how your seasons are, too. I am glad we have long periods of warm weather and our ‘hot’ months are June, July and August. I like warm and heat, so don’t mind them too much. Winter seems to drag along, but it may be I have a touch of missing the sunny days, seasonal depression, in a small way…

      • It is good you have so many interesting nature programs, it keeps people closer to nature which is very important and healthy, especially for kids, because they are the future.
        You’re most welcome, It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and to know how life is there, thanks so much for sharing! Wish you sunny day!

      • Oh we have snow:-) and mud!! But I hear birds!!! I see buds!!!! It’s coming! And I hope it is for you too my friend!! Happy Easter!! Hope you will be with your loved ones!❤️❤️

  2. I think in a past life I was a chubby woodcock diving from the sky to attract the ladies, Robin. Haha. OK, I do know that for most of my life I was chubby!

    I don’t have any buds or sprouts to report here yet, but the grass patches are getting bigger than the snow patches. It was 50º F today, but back down to 30s the next couple of days.

    • I am laughing at your choosing to have been in your past life one of these fun and energetic lovers! ha ha!
      I also think it is sad, though, you are just not seeing buds or sprouts. The below freezing temps made the crocuses bow down and the blossoms on one of the trees I saw were closed tightly from the cold. Thanks for letting me know you had a warmer temperature, but 30’s is the way we are heading, maybe even into the teens again. Darn!

  3. Oh my GOSH, Robin…you’re not going to believe this. Five minutes ago, as we watched Jeopardy, the commercial came on…’chaise!’ I’m with your mom on that…I muted the TV. It’s so obnoxious. 🙂 It’s an ad for Rooms to Go.

    • Oh, Jill! This is such a coincidence! Right after I wrote about it, you saw one of those ads! My Mom has a ‘bad’ habit, which I tend to do if I don’t have company… I choose another program to go ‘back’ and ‘forth’ to. This allows me to catch a few moments of another show, while avoiding commercials such as this.
      On the other hand, I absolutely love the one with the “Robin Hood” song, where they are “Lolly-doodling” and animals which normally would not be friends are playing together. A black lab and a lion, a monkey and a duck or some other combinations. The song gets my grandkids up and dancing, Jill!

  4. Sorry…that commercial made me forget you question. The weather here has been beautiful and everything is blooming. Unfortunately, they’re predicting a hard freeze on Saturday night. 😦

    • Oh, our temperatures are going into the single digits or teens tomorrow, too, Jill. I was sad to see the crocuses leaning down into the gardens, the buds and blossoms closed up today in the cold weather. Such is the way of March, it is a ‘fickle’ month!

  5. wow, you really did observe quite a lot of spring happenings, robin. now i see where you saw the runners you mentioned in response to my blog. all around me, i see more of the sun, the grass, and happy people and animals back outside and enjoying life.

    • I like your views of Spring, Beth! Hope it won’t be as cold up there as it was today and expected tomorrow here. Spring will come, slowly but surely. I do say this to myself, like a little mantra! Enjoy your weekend!
      The movie, “Home” comes out with Jim Parsons who plays Sheldon on “Big Bang Theory,” is on my oldest daughter and her two boys’ agenda, while she turns the big “3-5” on Sunday! Woo-hoo!

  6. It is still quite warm here, but we have had little chilly patches blow in to warn us of the coming change. I’m guessing I will find it quite cool when I get to DC and SW Virginia, though having said that you know anything could happen! Enjoy your improving weather!

    • I hope it will warm up by the time you come over to visit, Pauline! Hugs and prayers for safe travel mercies, may angels guide your plane safe and sound here and back. Thanks for wishing us improving weather and for my enjoying it.

  7. We have had very little freezing weather since December. Our mountains barely have snow on their slopes. The ski season was a total bust this year, and many of the ducks and geese from Canada never flew any further south than just across our border with Canada. Warnings of drought are already making the rounds, since snowmelt is what feeds our river systems. But we have lots of flowers and birds and budding trees. – Mike

    • Flowers, birds and budding trees sound wonderful but sorry about the lack of snow on the ski mountains and lifts. This is big to your area, in its commerce and fun, too. Mike, hope you don’t experience a drought, this would be sad!

    • I am taking this as a very high compliment, indeed, Colleen! I remember the song and her throwing her hat into the air, loving Mary Tyler Moore and all of the people on that show. Still like it when I see Ed Asner in Hallmark movies, too. I love the idea of Louis Armstrong’s song playing, “What a Wonderful World,” while I walk through Spring. Thanks so much for finding this to be a slice of beautiful life. This made my day, Colleen.

    • Our Spring is hiding for awhile, just waiting for the right time to appear, W.S. I am saddened to see the wilted crocuses and daffodils, their edges of the petals turning brown. It is what it is, I guess. You are right, though. Ever since the declaration of “Spring is here,” it has been an up and down roller coaster of temperatures!

  8. ooh you had me worried about the puppy, being only 7 weeks old. Puppies over here legally can only be taken at 8 weeks from their mum, then they need their vaccinations, so they don’t usually go out till 10-12 weeks. But I digress..we are in Autumn, but today we have had the remnants of the cyclones from up North. Grey, windy, cold, showery …😢

    • I am so sorry about the cyclones from up North, Jen. There was a big tornado out west, which I was saddened to hear about. Now, your cyclone with grey, windy, cloudy, cold … that makes me shiver just to think about, Jen.
      Hope you and Mr. S. have a nice time this weekend, letting the other things that complicate your life be ‘held on the back burner.’ You deserve some fun! (and warmer weather, too!) xo

    • Thanks, Jen, for concern for the puppy. This may be the wrong age to walk it, since it was tiny. I hope they will take back for vaccinations and keep care of the precious pup! Hugs and smiles sent your way, Jen. Back to read and enjoy everyone tomorrow. Library closes at 6 p.m. on weekends. (so home to dinner tonight.)

    • I am glad you enjoyed this post and wish to explain a bit about my interval of not always being around to comment on my blog and yours, too. I go to the library, sometimes there is a line, sometimes I am given plenty of time. Well, this week I went to get my car fixed since my oldest daughter and I are traveling with her two boys, only under 3 hours away for Easter weekend. Got everything running with the car. Then, went to shop for my niece’s new baby, so needed to get some Easter things, too. Then, the dentist, I am usually very good at being here every other day. Sorry to be posting this remark rather later than expected. Thanks for checking out my post and hope we can get better acquainted as time goes by. I enjoyed your post about your friend, Bette. I used to go exploring all over the Massachusetts’ beaches, with a friend I made while 16 years old. The story resonated with me, mainly because of how you grew closer, talking while looking for sea shells, along with her career and guiding light in your life. She sounds like a great friend!

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