April first, a most spring-like day, no foolin’. Windy and cool, with alternating patches of sun and cloud, moments of cold rain followed by bursts of warm sunshine. I didn’t manage to squeeze in any walks in the woods, between work and kids, although I did manage to spend much of the afternoon outside, mostly following the boys around while they pretended to be hunter-gatherers.
A couple of weeks back, while I was in Baltimore, the rope broke on my birdfeeder, which came crashing to the ground. For the past several years, I had hung it using a semi-elaborate pulley system that allowed me to easily fill the feeder from the back deck, then hoist it up to the edge of the trees so that it hangs in a location that is far off of the ground, up in the branches. The idea was that I would be able to lie in my bed on cold winter mornings and watch the birds at the edge of the forest. It worked quite well, and even after I gave my precious corner room to the boys and changed rooms, I continued to fill the feeder and enjoy the birds. I’ve been so used to seeing “my” birds every day , that having the feeder sit empty and forlorn on the ground was getting me quite depressed. So this afternoon, I hoisted a ladder up to the deck, climbed up to the metal ring that I have hung in the tree, and re-strung the pulley with fresh new rope (kind of sketchy– hope I don’t have to do that again for a while!). I also cut the branch that had been rubbing against the rope, which was most likely what caused it to break. While I was up in the trees, I took this photo of the backyard from the perspective of the birdfeeder, a perspective that I rarely see, as I am not often 25 feet up in that particular tree (or any tree, for that matter).
It took the birds a little while to start seeing the freshly-filled feeder, after two disappointing weeks of not having it there. This downy woodpecker looks a bit suspicious, but it soon came over for a feed.
As I brought the ladder back to the courtyard, I was struck at the overwhelming greenness of the garden’s cover crops. I’m not sure what we’re growing here, some sort of fertility-enhancing grass that will be plowed into the soil before we plant our summer vegetables. But boy is it ever green!
Now that it’s April, the days have grown noticeably longer, with well over an hour of post-dinner daylight every day. 10 days past the equinox, we’re in the longer day/shorter night time of year, and at the time of year when the increase in day length from day to day is the greatest. You really almost can feel the days getting longer every afternoon.