You know it’s spring when…

You know it’s spring when…

By Rod Myers, Naturalist

You know it’s spring when the robins look to the clear sky to learn what color to make their eggs.

You know it’s spring when the butterflies become another brand of eye candy in your flower garden. You know it’s spring when all the birds in your area use your prairie restoration as a shopping mall for nesting material from last year’s crop of grasses.

You know it’s spring when pollinating bees mistake your nose for a trumpet flower.

You know it’s spring when the dreaded Two-Tasked Mosquito (fictitious species) bites your thumb with her bitey thing while simultaneously laying eggs in your iced tea with the other end of its invertebrate beautiful body.

You know it’s spring when the hummingbirds boycott your pampered plastic-looking flowers, yet stick around and chase the dragonflies away, which you desperately want to lay eggs in your pond so its larvae will eat mosquito larvae.

You know it’s spring when the bends in rivers are clogged with flood-brought trees and Wal-Mart bags. You know it’s spring when the Weather Channel is dominated by live reports from Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. You know it’s spring when a night sky marked by numerous solitary bird chirps is followed by a day filled with warbler songs. You know it’s spring when the patio glass window sliding door, which brings you light and sanity brings, deception and death to a migrating bird. You know it’s spring when a group of junior high kids playing slow pitch in a vacant lot find a shallow rabbit’s nest with babies, and every cat, crow and hawk in the area suddenly becomes interested in baseball.

You know it’s spring when a TV program shows a clip of a Major League pitcher hurling a fastball toward the plate, hitting a pigeon in flight who was in the wrong spot, thus making your mom cry.

You know it’s spring when the white-crowned sparrows and the white-throated sparrows fight over the white stuff under the bird feeder, er, I mean the right food stuffs.

You know it’s spring when one pair of highly intelligent deer mice turn your junked Dodge into a very competitive baby mouse factory.

Swamp sparrow update: The swamp sparrow is still in my yard restoration wetland, but he’s found no mate to share his tiny territory. Not only is he missing a mate, he’s missing his tail. He probably lost it to a predator. His closest relatives, song sparrows and Lincoln’s sparrows, while on migration maneuvers, have shown up recently in No Tails, the swamp sparrow’s neck of the sedge. Yellow warblers are frequenting No Tails Pond to take cattail down to line their nests with.

I saw a mother shrew on TV leave the nest, but a baby followed her by clinging to her tail. Then another baby clung to the first baby’s tail, and so on down the line until there was a line of babies being pulled by the mother. Look out, Soul Train! Here comes SHREW TRAIN!

Rod Myers is a local resident with an interest in the environment and disability issues. He has an associate’s degree in science and a bachelor’s in fine arts. Rod is a member of the Audubon Society, the Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc.

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